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Pr. Geo.'s Education Group: No Postion on Slots

Rosalind Helderman

The Prince George's County Educators' Association voted overwhelmingly Monday against taking a position on the Nov. 4 referendum on slots, a move that had the state's anti-slots campaign declaring a small victory.

According to Tom Smith, the deputy campaign manager of Marylanders United to Stop Slots, the education group's executive director tried to convince county teachers to go on record as supporting the referendum. But Smith said anti-slots workers showed up and handed out literature and PGCEA teacher and former county council candidate Theresa Dudley gave a rousing speech against gambling interests.

In the end, the group voted 72 to 14 against changing the group's position, he said.
Slots backers would like to find supporters in the education community because they argue slot machine gambling is needed to provide more funding for the state's schools. Slots foes counter, however, that very little revenue from the machines would go to schools.

"The teachers know they're being used here," Smith said. "Last night they put their foot down, and they sent a message to their statewide leadership that they won't have it."

PGCEA President Donald J. Briscoe and Executive Director Lewis Robinson did not immediately return calls for comment.

After a great deal of internal debate, the Montgomery County Education Association has also formally decided to remain neutral on slots, according to a union official with that group.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 14, 2008; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman , Slots  
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Comments

So what is the proposed allocation of funds from slots?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Solving the budget short fall should be pretty easy. Just send the tax bills to the MD united to stop slots. Split the amount into fair shares amongst the group and let them show the rest of us how they "the responsible ones" pay their bills. It's a win - win. No slots, no budget short fall.

Posted by: askgees | October 14, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, in case it hasn't been highlighted (wink, wink) $100M from slots will go to the horseracing industry.

lag

PS It is reprehensible that a governement organization would promote something that will hurt (poor) people.

Posted by: jhtlag | October 14, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I approve of the PGCEA's decision. It is a defeat for slots advocates. I would rather teach with less resources, make a little less money than use "blood money" educate my students.

Slots, Keno, and other forms of gambling are taxes on the poor. I don't live in a rich area and I see low income people waste lots of their earned money on these stupid government sanctioned devices. When was the last time you saw a suit spend time watching Keno in a convenient store?

The PGCEA made a political move to not have a position, however, from a pragmatic political approach, it was the right move.

Posted by: Teacher in Prince George's County Public Schools, MD | October 14, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Is this the best the leadership in MD can come up with to address the budget shortfall -- a stupid tax? For years this program has been ballyhooed as the solution to the budget problems in MD. This time around the pols in Annapolis have dressed it up as a savior for the horseracing industry. I think it's time for everyone to take a step back and ask themselves if this is the best that we can do. Clearly, there is a much bigger issue at play here -- what is the appropriate role of government in the lives of its citizens and when is enough simply enough? Vote no on the slots referendum and force GovCo's hand in making cuts...it's time for them to relinquish responsibility for the things that individuals should rightfully be responsible for on their own. Wake up people!!

Posted by: ncterp | October 14, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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