Montgomery County Teachers Stage Protest Against Budget Cuts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Montgomery County Teachers Stage Protest Against Budget Cuts

Play associated audio
Thomas Edison High School teacher Jesse McGee talks with the Bolender family during the 'grade-in' at Westfield Wheaton shopping mall May 14.
Armando Trull
Thomas Edison High School teacher Jesse McGee talks with the Bolender family during the 'grade-in' at Westfield Wheaton shopping mall May 14.

The council may cut more than $100 million from the budget even though there are 3,000 additional students entering the school system this year. Although counties are supposed to fund school districts at the same level as the previous year under Maryland state law, Montgomery County received an exemption from that law for Fiscal Year 2012.

Montgomery County Public Schools teachers have been doing their part to sway public opinion against the cuts. Several hundred of them hit area malls this past weekend, but they they weren't shopping. They were grading mountains of papers at the food courts.

Alyson Russell, who teaches at Parkland Middle School, explains what the demonstration is meant to show. "Being a teacher is not a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. job," she says.

The educators were wearing bright purple t-shirts with the slogan "Teachers at Work" in bold white letters. Table signs urged parents to stop by and chat about the impact of proposed budget cuts.

"As you take things away from teachers youre also taking things away from students," continues Russell.

Jesse McGee, who teaches at Thomas Edison High School, points out that the cuts are essentially punishing a district that has proven itself to be very successful. "Don't stick it to the education system, especially one that's proven that it can perform at a very high level and produce excellent quality students," he says.

Ben Bolender has two small kids and says he doesn't support the budget cuts.

"I work in Suitland but I live in Montgomery County and have an hour and a half commute just so I can put them in a place that there would be good schools," he says.

The Montgomery County Council takes up the issue on Tuesday.


'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.

Why Shark Finning Bans Aren't Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet)

Fewer shark fins are being imported into Hong Kong, the epicenter of shark-fin soup, a culinary delicacy. But while the trade in shark fins may be down, the trade in shark meat is still going strong.

Peace Corps Teams Up With First Lady To 'Let Girls Learn'

The Peace Corp will recruit and train about 650 additional volunteers to focus on girls' education around the world. The expansion is part of a larger program launched by Michelle Obama Tuesday.

FAA Is Trying To Keep Hackers Out Of Air Traffic Control, Official Says

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta tells a House panel that some vulnerabilities reported in a congressional study have been fixed, and the agency is working on others.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.