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Students and teachers advocate for Kirwan funding

Students and teachers rallied for Kirwan funding at the 2019 March for Our Schools (seen here) as well as at a lobbying event in March of the same year.

By Meylin Diaz

Students, teachers and community groups went together to Annapolis in March of 2019 to lobby the Maryland state government to provide more funding for public schools. We went around passing out flyers to lawmakers all over the General Assembly. We met the lawmakers and we also talked with them, explaining why we needed the money.

The Kirwan Commission is a study that found out that a lot of school districts in Maryland were not getting enough money. We went to Annapolis because we were trying to convince the General Assembly to pass a law that will give schools the extra money. We learned how to advocate for action in government. This is important because it can make a huge difference for improving Baltimore City Public Schools.

Adam Sokolski is a government teacher at Patterson High School and a member of the Baltimore Teachers Union. He is also the faculty adviser for Patterson’s Student Government Association and a member of Patterson’s “Team of 10”, a group that works on advocacy around Kirwan. Mr. Sokolski said it was a great experience being able to see first-hand how our legislative branch works and getting the opportunity to meet with lawmakers and advocate for an important cause.

“It’s important for people to advocate in their government because otherwise your voice isn’t heard.”, Mr. Sokolski explained. “And I think the fact that there are teachers and students in Annapolis advocating for extra funding helps keep it in the forefront of legislators’ minds”.

The Patterson Team of 10, along with other groups from Baltimore City and all over Maryland plan to go back to Annapolis this March to continue pushing for the funding we need and deserve.


Meylin Diaz is the Class President for the Class of 2021 at Patterson High School.