“Today represents a very significant step in our efforts to create lasting educational equity and a fairer and more prosperous future for our state. These recommendations are a pathway to expanding career and technical education programs, hiring more educators, increasing educator pay, and more equitably funding our public schools. We look forward to working with the General Assembly in the coming months to build on these recommendations and pass a new funding formula to ensure that every student in every neighborhood has a great public school. We need to act during the 2020 legislative session because our kids can’t wait,” said Baltimore County elementary school teacher and MSEA President Cheryl Bost.
During the 2019 legislative session, the General Assembly passed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which added $1.1 billion in new school funding over the next three years, including an average 1.5% increase in teacher salaries, funding to expand pre-k and community schools, additional resources for special education and mental health, and more. The Blueprint was passed following the March for Our Schools, the largest rally Annapolis had seen in nearly a decade with more than 8,500 educators, parents, and students from across the state.
Today’s recommendations of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup will now be considered by the Kirwan Commission. The Kirwan Commission is developing final recommendations to address the $2.9 billion in annual underfunding of Maryland’s public schools identified by an independent analysis overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education. The Commission is scheduled to meet later in October and in November.
The Commission’s recommendations will be taken up by the 2020 General Assembly with the expectation that the state will revise its public school funding formula for the first time in nearly two decades.