ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Over 5,000 teachers and educators signed up to march along with students and community leaders to push for more school funding.

It was the largest rally in Annapolis in nearly a decade.

“There are overcrowded classes, there are underfunded schools, the buildings are at the point where they need to be condemened and it needs to happen now,” Alisa Aubin, a kindergarden teacher, said.

The Maryland State Department of Education said public school’s are underfunded by $2.9 billion every year.

Teachers and students marched to urge legislators to increase school funding by $325 million in the current budget.

“Right now we’re paid at a lower level than similar professions with similar requirements,” Doug Prouty, Vice President of the Maryland State Education Association, said. “Retain and attract educators. Increase teachers pay.”

Last week, leading Maryland Democrats outlined a 10-year blueprint to improve education.

It includes more than $1 billion in funding in the state budget over the next two years to begin implementing recommendations from a state commission.

“We cannot, we will not accept a system where almost half of teachers leave the profession after their second year of teaching,” Senator Chris Van Hollen said. “That is unacceptable.”

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Kelsey Kushner

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