Thousands of Maryland teachers to rally in Annapolis Monday for more school funding

Thousands of Maryland teachers and education advocates are expected to pour into Annapolis for a march and rally to push for more school funding Monday night.

The “March for Our Schools” will lead to road closures and traffic delays.

The Maryland State Education Association is bussing in thousands of participants. Annapolis officials expect at least 7,500 participants, which would make it one of the largest rallies in the state’s capital city in the past decade.

Prince George’s County Public Schools are dismissing two hours early to allow teachers and students more time to get to Annapolis.

The state teachers’ union believes that Maryland’s public schools are underfunded and need $2.9 billion more each year.

State lawmakers are taking steps to boost education funding, adding more money for schools to Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed $46 billion state budget as it makes its way through the General Assembly.

The House of Delegates Appropriations Committee voted on Friday to add $320 million more for public schools. The extra money is meant to start paying for recommendations of the so-called Kirwan Commission that studied ways to improve public schools, such as paying teachers more and expanding prekindergarten.

A bill that would put that funding into law, and require even more funding next year, is being considered by lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the ACLU and the NAACP are trying to reopen a settled lawsuit in an attempt to force the state to provide more funding for Baltimore public schools.

Participants in the rally plan to gather at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadiumand march down Rowe Boulevard to the intersection with Calvert Street. There, a stage will be set up for a program of speakers.

Rowe Boulevard — one of the main routes into Annapolis — will be closed at 6 p.m. when the march begins. The events are expected to conclude by 8 p.m. Speakers will include U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, county executives, school superintendents, teachers and parents, according to MSEA.

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