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Teachers rally to demand more dedicated funding at Maryland State House

Teachers rally to demand more dedicated funding at Maryland State House (ABC7)

Hours after hundreds of teachers and other school employees rallied in support of it, the Maryland Senate unanimously passed an act aimed at forcing casino money to do more for schools Monday night.

The Senate passed the “Fix the Fund” Act, an amendment to Maryland’s Constitution that supporters say would fix a broken promise.

They say when casinos were first brought to the state earlier this decade, it was done with the understanding the money would help education.

Instead, critics say it has created a shell game where the money goes for education, but then other money that would have been spent on schools is spent elsewhere.

“It’s being reallocated for other things. Quite honestly they’re stealing it, and we want it back,” said Jill Morris, president of the Education Association of St. Mary’s County.

Morris and hundreds of others attended a rally outside Maryland’s State House. After hearing from a number of speakers, they walked around the circle surrounding the building chanting,“Fix the Fund.”

Now that the state Senate has passed a third reading of the Fix the Funds Act, if the state House of Delegates also passes the same version, it will go before Maryland voters in November.

Since it is a constitutional amendment, it does not require the governor’s signature.

Governor Larry Hogan’s office says he supports the concept but has proposed his own bill he thinks is better.

Spokesperson Shareese Churchill emailed ABC7 the following statement:

"Governor Hogan introduced the Commitment to Education Act of 2018, and he has repeatedly expressed his support for ensuring all revenues from Maryland casinos go directly toward increased funding for K-12 education and improvements to Maryland's public school facilities. This additional funding is what Maryland voters were promised in 2007 – and it’s what our students, teachers, and parents deserve today. The Hogan administration remains committed to working with the legislature on this important bipartisan issue, which is supported by most Maryland citizens."
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