Gov. O'Malley deserved his NEA award
By Clara Floyd,
The writer is president of the Maryland State Education Association.
This month, educators across Maryland — and across the country — celebrated Gov. Martin O’Malley’s leadership on public education as he received the National Education Association’s America’s Greatest Education Governor Award.
In the July 9 editorial “Mr. O’Malley flunks,” The Post exhibited a profound misunderstanding of the reasons for the award as well as Maryland’s recently enacted Fairness in Negotiations Act (FINA), which governs collective bargaining in Maryland education.
Mr. O’Malley has been active in the Democratic Governors and National Governors associations, mobilizing governors to lobby for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the education jobs bill. And despite difficult economic conditions, Mr. O’Malley’s budgets resulted in school construction investments more than double those during the previous administration. He became the first governor to fully fund Thornton, 2002 Maryland legislation that added $1.9 billion in school funding, and his budgets have frozen college tuition for the 2007-2011 school years.
The Maryland State Education Association — not Mr. O’Malley — took the initiative in lobbying for FINA. We believe it will improve the efficiency of negotiations, allowing school employers and employees to devote more energy to teaching and learning. Mr. O’Malley was right to sign it, but nothing in the legislation forces counties to fund contract settlements.
The NEA honored Mr. O’Malley because he has provided leadership, resources and respect for public education.
| July 14, 2010; 10:23 AM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Maryland, education, schools
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