As a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Ben Jealous understands the importance of a high-quality education. Throughout his campaign to become Maryland’s next governor, Jealous has continued to voice his commitment to Maryland’s education system in a way that will benefit all residents within the state.
Although Maryland has a relatively strong public school system filled with hard-working teachers and passionate students, the public school rankings have slipped in the years following Governor Larry Hogan’s election. Before Hogan became governor, Maryland’s public schools were ranked first in the country for an impressive five years in a row. However, now the state’s system is ranked sixth in the nation, presumably due to strategic underfunding of public schools. As stated on his website, Jealous is committed to making Maryland’s public school system the best in the nation again. Jealous plans to do this by having a commitment to Maryland’s students, teachers, and families. Additionally, Jealous will strategically use the state’s resources to ensure proper funding.
Jealous’ commitment to Maryland’s students starts at a young age. As noted on his website, Jealous promises to provide the funding needed for all Maryland children to attend a full-day pre-K program. This will not only benefit Maryland’s youngest students, but also the parents of these students. While children are enrolled in these full-day programs, parents will be free to use the day to pursue a careers and education of their own.
So how does Jealous plan to fund these full day pre-K programs? As governor, Jealous wanted to legalize marijuana for adult use and then tax and regulate it. The money generated from this will go straight into funding programs like these to benefit Maryland’s students. Jealous also wants to use the revenue from state’s casino and lottery system.
One of Jealous’ most noted promises to the state’s education system is his devotion to raising teacher wages in order to make them more competitive with surrounding states. As governor, Jealous wants to raise teacher wages by a notable 29 percent. This increase will allow Maryland’s teachers to earn a living wage.
Wage increases for teachers have been a top issue throughout the country. Recently, Time Magazine’s cover highlighted the efforts teachers must take in order to live on their wages. Jealous’ commitment to Maryland’s teachers also demonstrates his loyalty to ensuring Maryland takes a lead on important issues that impact the nation.
To learn more about Jealous’ plans to improve Maryland’s school system for all students in Maryland, visit his website at benjealous.com
The views expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of Our Maryland or Our Maryland Education Fund.