Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Future Montgomery

A press release from Our Future Montgomery, a new coalition formed by MCEA, MCAAP, and SEIU Local 500 formed to fight for more funds for MCPS


Unions representing 21,000 school employees hope to raise awareness about drastic cuts to K-12 education being considered by County Council

Rockville, MD (May 9, 2011) – As the Montgomery County Council considers the unprecedented step of rejecting nearly $30 million in state education aid in order “reset” education funding levels in the county, permanently lowering per-pupil investments, stakeholders are mounting a campaign to educate voters on the consequences of such proposals.

The first mailing from the group, who call their initiative Our Future Montgomery, will reach Montgomery County residents early this week (it can be viewed at

A wave of online activity including social media outreach, online advertising, and calls to action around Mother’s Day and the education budget have already garnered thousands of visits to the group’s website and hundreds of emails to members of the Montgomery County Council.

“So many families locate in Montgomery County because of the quality of public education here. They’re education voters, and they need to know that the decisions being made right now in Rockville could affect their children’s education and their property values,” explains Doug Prouty, President of Montgomery County Education Association.

“This is an issue of fairness. Because schools employees have found ways to work together to absorb year after year of budget cuts, the official spin is that MCPS hasn’t taken a hit. Well, that’s just not true,” explains Merle Cuttitta, President of SEIU Local 500. “In particular, when my members, who don’t make a great deal of money in the first place and who have seen their hours slashed over the past three years, are told they haven’t sacrificed, we have to push back against that!”

“Ultimately, this comes down to the kids and protecting their interests. They don’t have a voice in the political arena, particularly those kids who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The support these kids receive that is closing the achievement gap in the county and helping MCPS be a model for the nation – that’s at risk with these budget cuts. We can’t abandon them now,” explains Rebecca Newman, President of Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals.


Made up of parents, teachers and other school system employees, students and other stakeholders, Our Future Montgomery seeks a way forward out of our temporary – though dismal – economic circumstances and toward a brighter future for our great county. This path must involve wise and adequate investments in our institutions and our communities and most of all in our children – for they truly are Our Future Montgomery.