April 06, 2011 - On Tuesday evening, in Montgomery County, Maryland, hundreds of teachers, school administrators and parents rallied outside the county council building in advance of a public hearing on the county's budget. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but by 6 p.m. the crowd of demonstrators had grown so large, police blocked traffic on the two adjoining streets for safety.
At issue is a $82 million increase in funding, proposed by the county school board. Administrators say the system has seen a dramatic rise in enrollment making the increase necessary. Executive Ike Leggett rejected that request, citing the county's projected $300 million budget shortfall.
Lee Evans is principal of Magruder high school. Evans says although teacher benefits are also threatened, at the end of the day it's all about the kids.
"That is what all these people are here for," he says. "This is about what we do every day for children, and we know that it's being threatened, because of the politics involved."
Additional public hearings are scheduled for April 6 and 7. SOURCE: WAMU