Montgomery County educators rally to “expose employee exploitation due to understaffing”

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Educators in Maryland’s largest school district took to the streets to demand the administration address a dire understaffing situation unfolding at schools.

Montgomery County Educators are rallying for what they say is “to expose employee exploitation.” Due to staffing shortages, educators say they are unable to take lunch periods mandated by state law, are missing planning times used to prepare lessons, and receiving less support from their principals, who are being tasked with public health duties.

“Teachers who know their job and know what they’re doing are saying they can’t do this 5 days a week… someone else needs to come in here at least one day so I can at least catch my breath,” said Kindergarten Teacher at Roscoe Nix Elementary School.

Currently, 450 educators, para-support, and bus drivers are needed in MCPS. And educators say without time to do their job, students can’t get the best support they need.

“We’re told to do it for the kids, this phrase is weaponized against teachers over and over and over,” said Jennifer Martin, President of Montgomery County Education Association. “We give, but it’s a point that you give until you give out.”

County Executive and former educator, Marc Elrich says that the staff’s requests are legitimate. And this will mitigate against the ability of the school system to bring in additional staff in the future.

“We know we can’t keep asking people to do jobs that are difficult, and exceptionally challenging in times like this, and not think about what we pay workers to do this work,” said Elrich.

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