“Separate but Equal” lives on

Maryland has one of the largest disparities in the country between low-income students and their wealthier classmates. For a state that has continually excelled in national education rankings, this tells us that the divide between the rich and poor, between white and minority students, is too wide. Students in high minority, low-income schools graduate at rates much lower than their peers in more affluent, predominantly white schools. Your income, nationality, or race should not affect the education your child receives. All Maryland students should have the opportunity and support to graduate high school and eventually attend college or otherwise be ready to enter the labor market with valuable and viable skills.

Jon’s two year old daughter, Dorothy, will enter prekindergarten next year, but Jon knows that not all children will have the same opportunity. That is why Jon supported Governor O’Malley’s proposed Prekindergarten Act of 2014, which establishes a competitive grant program to help expand pre-K to provide full-day public schooling for all four year olds in the State. Jon also supported the Education Reform Act of 2010 that sought to narrow Maryland’s achievement gap. Jon’s devotion to this issue goes back to 2005, when Jon and proposed a pilot program that would put at risk youth in special summer learning programs.

Sixty years have passed since the historic Brown v. Board decision, and schools across the state are still unequal. The legal statute of “separate but equal” may have been overturned, but its legacy remains. African American and Latino students are three times more likely to drop out of high school than White students. Schools that serve predominantly African American and Latino students are still underfunded, crumbling, and unsafe, while schools that serve predominantly white students are not. This not only unfair, it’s a civil rights issue. The spirit of Jim Crow still haunts our state, and the next Attorney General must take action to make equality a reality for all Maryland students.