Students and education officials put pressure on for special legislative session

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One the setbacks to the General Assembly not reaching a deal on the revenue package (taxes) that will fund the spending plan is the cuts to public education. This week students at the University of Maryland, who face the possibility of a 10% increase in tuition, plan to take to the public square at College Park in protest demanding Governor Martin O’Malley call a special session to address the unfinished business. In addition PGCPS Superintendent Hite also is sounding the alarm.

In a statement posted to his blog and emailed to community stakeholders, Hite writes: ” Because the General Assembly session ended without the approval of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget submitted by Governor Martin O’Malley, our school system is now faced with an additional $51 million in cuts. Needless to say, this would have a substantial impact on our students, teachers, staff and schools.” A member of the Prince George’s County House Delegation to the House of Delegates called Dr. Hite’s estimate “conservative” and warned the cuts could be far more than that. The superintendent also wrote that he and the members of the board have already written to the governor, senate president, and speaker of the house to request they reconvene to solve the problem and encouraged citizens to do the same.

Here are the details of the University of Maryland event:

Rally on the Mall- Prevent 10% Tuition Increases!

Thursday, April 19th @3:00PM

McKeldin Library, College Park, MD 20742
As you may have heard by now, the Maryland General Assembly failed to fully fund the operating budget, which means as of now the so called “Doomsday Budget” goes into effect. The “Doomsday Budget” will have devastating affects on our university, as the University System of Maryland could face cuts up to $50 million.

These cuts will mean that more of the burden will fall on students next year and there will likely be at least ten percent tuition increases for the incoming fall semester.

Now, is the time for action! Governor O’Malley still has the option to call a special session to raise the revenues to offset the cuts to the university. We will rally on the mall (in front of Testudo) and urge legislators in Annapolis to get their act together and protect higher education.

Balancing the budget on the backs of students is not acceptable. We need to have a special session, so that students that are struggling to get by will not be unduly burdened by petty politics.

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