Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced $68 billion in funding cuts.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced on May 15 that he will deny $68 million in funding for education this year. Instead, he said he plans to use the money towards Maryland’s pension system.

Hogan wanted to maintain the level of over-payments into the state pension system the legislature had committed itself to previously in order to make up for years of under-funding, but this year’s General Assembly slashed it by $75 million, according to the Baltimore Sun.

In the past, the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System only had about 69 percent of the assets needed to pay for future and current retirees’ pensions in the last fiscal year.  The target goal for being considered healthy is 80 percent, which the state did not reach.

“I am displeased with the governor’s decision to cut school funding, because I believe it is a disservice to the people of Prince George’s County and a significant disinvestment in the children and future of this County and our State,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III said in a news release.

Even though the public school system is the second largest in Maryland with over 125,000 students and the 17th largest school district in the United States, about 62 percent of its students receive free or reduced lunch, according to Baker.  In addition, several school buildings need significant maintenance.

“He’s (Hogan) cutting money that goes to schools with the most poor kids, kids with disabilities, and second language learners – all the impacted urban populations,” Maryland House Delegate Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery County) told {RT}.  “Under the Maryland Constitution, he can’t apply funds that have been appropriated for something else. What he will probably do is let the money sit in the fund and then use it as his proposed budget next year. In the meantime, there are kids in Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Prince George County that need a good education.”

Prince George’s County Public Schools will lose $20 million, while Baltimore will lose $11 million and Montgomery County will lose $17 million due to Hogan’s decision.

In Baker’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, he wanted to invest more Prince George’s County funds into the school system in hopes of moving its position to being one of the top 10 school systems in Maryland by 2020.  “There comes a time when we must take a stand and put politics aside to make educated and fact-based decisions,” Baker said in a news release.  “And when you look at the facts, it is clear that we need to significantly increase our investment in our children and not stifle them from reaching their full potential.  It is disheartening that the governor is not showing the same level of dedication to Prince George’s County children, who should also be highly valued children of the State of Maryland.”