ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Dozens of Maryland students rallied in Annapolis Monday, calling on lawmakers to provide additional funding for education recommended by a state commission.
The group’s chants could be heard from a mile away as they weighed in on the Kirwan Commission’s recommendation to spend an additional $4 billion annually on education.
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Student protest happening now in support of Kirwan Legislation. Students tell me they deserve to have a good education and quality public schools that get them ready for college or careers after high school @wjz pic.twitter.com/W953nS93nO
— Kelsey Kushner (@KelseyKushnerTV) January 27, 2020
Among the rallygoers was Antwain Johnson from Baltimore.
“As a Baltimore City graduate, I didn’t feel adequately prepared,” he said.
The rally was put together by members of the Baltimore Algebra Project and Baltimore Intersection and included calls for schools to get funding to provide a better education and the resources students need to succeed.
“I’m here to advocate for high-quality and diverse teachers and also college readiness programs because that’s what needed in my school system,” said Ahnieyah Owens, a senior at Bard High School Early College in Baltimore.
Debate rages over how the proposals would be funded. Earlier this month, Gov. Larry Hogan announced record funding for education in his budget proposal but said the Kirwan plan amounts to a substantial tax hike.READ MORE: 'Best Places To Retire': Baltimore Lands On U.S. News & World Report Ranking
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“The state should not and cannot simply increase $33 billion in new spending that we do not have without any plan whatsoever about where the funding is going to come from,” Hogan said.
According to Baltimore Intersection, fewer than 40 percent of Maryland students who graduate are ready for college or a career, parents struggle to find affordable pre-kindergarten options and teachers are forced to work second jobs to pay the bills.
Jordan said his goal is to change the narrative.
“I say no education, no life, so if you don’t have access to a quality education then its hard for you to change the circumstances,” he said.
“If you want a better future then you have to have a better education,” Owens said.MORE NEWS: Harford County Has $58M Budget Surplus, Glassman Says
Lawmakers are set to tackle the Kirwan recommendations during the current legislative session.