Is it entirely the fault of the County Commissioners that teaching salaries have stagnated? What could drive them to neglect the current pay of teachers? With the advent of casino money dedicated to the schools there should be plenty to provide equitable pay to our teachers.
The 2012 referendum on casinos promised hundreds of millions of dollars for schools from the casinos. According to Megan Brockett of Southern Maryland News Net the Education Trust Fund received over $700 million gambling dollars. That should have been enough. However the legislature reduced the general fund money that had been going to the schools by the same amount, stagnating state support for the schools after promising more.
At the same time teacher¹s pension costs were passed from the state to the counties in another legislative act passed over the protests of teachers and school districts. The legislature balked at raising taxes themselves but passed this troublesome opportunity on to the counties Our County Commissioners have had to cope with increasing responsibility for school funding while simultaneously receiving less from Annapolis.
Decisions made by governor O¹Malley and his legislature, including our own John Bohannan, are coming to rest on the Commissioner¹s shoulders and especially on the teachers.