On Tuesday, February 14th, President English led teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff, and Union supporters including Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, at the BTU Call to Action Rally in front of Baltimore City Public School Headquarters.
The purpose of the rally was to demand that Baltimore City Public School CEO, Dr. Sonja Santelises, and the Baltimore City School Board find other alternatives than cutting 1,000 school-related jobs to help close the $130 million school budget gap.
BTU Members held signs and chanted, “Children First” and “No Cuts to the Classroom”, as people driving by honked their horns in support. The teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff that were in attendance also implored that our city and state legislatures work together to find the funds to keep them in their classrooms and schools.
After the Call to Action Rally, President English was joined by Glen Middleton, president of AFCSME, and Antoinette Ryan-Johnson, president of CUB, as she addressed members of the Board at the Baltimore City School Board meeting. There, she called for the School Board to find creative ways to balance the budget so that the brunt of the cuts do not, “fall on the backs of Baltimore City children”.
President English’s passionate speech received a round of applause as she stated the Board, “has no other choice but to do everything they could to ensure that teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff positions be saved so they can continue to ensure that the future for Baltimore City children is rich with opportunities for success”.