A visible fight for education funding
The Maryland State Teachers Association held a press conference at North Avenue yesterday to lobby against any state funding cuts to education. It was an interesting choice of locations, since Baltimore has the only one of the state's 24 teachers unions that doesn't belong to MSTA, an affiliate of the National Education Association. The Baltimore Teachers Union is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. While a BTU representative did speak at the event, neither of its two presidents -- Marietta English and Lorretta Johnson -- was there. Were they feeling slighted? In any case, MSTA spokesman Dan Kaufman told me the state group wanted to have the event in the state's most visible district, to recognize the recent improvements in city schools and to put Dr. Alonso's name behind its cause. What do you know? The Baltimore school district is becoming a hot commodity.
In her remarks, MSTA President Clara Floyd noted that the teachers union lobbied hard to get slots passed -- and it expects the promised funding for education in return.