Proponents of a gambling referendum in Maryland argue it will boost state funding for education. You have better odds of winning the lottery.
WASHINGTON -- Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education are, of course, fundamental. Across the nation, high school science teachers have been rededicating themselves to promote STEM education.
Funding remains a constant problem, and the solutions being offered by some states are wrong-headed.
Case in point is Maryland, where a hotly contested referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot would expand gambling statewide. Proponents have spent millions of dollars on TV ads arguing that gambling revenue will provide much needed funding for the state’s education system.
Opponents note that the other form of legal gambling, state lotteries, has done little or nothing to boost education in the Old Line State.
With Maryland’s horse racing industry in decline, and gambling thriving in neighboring West Virginia, it’s just as likely that proponents are more interested in keeping the good money being thrown after bad within Maryland’s boundaries.
Either way, the proverbial stakes on the outcome of Question 7 in Maryland are high. The Baltimore Sun estimates that supporters of the measure, mostly casino interests, have spent more than $43.5 million while opponents have spent more than $41 million on ceaseless advertising. Only $17 million was spent in Maryland’s 2010 campaign for governor.
Imagine the boost to Maryland’s education system had even a fraction of the funds wasted on political advertising for a gambling referendum instead been invested in chemistry labs or to retain the state’s best science teachers?
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