It provides $1.1-billion in additional funding for public education.
Annapolis, Md (KM). The House of Delegates and the State Senate last week approved legislation providing more funding for public education. The “Blueprint for Maryland” addresses the problem of school underfunding. “It provides $1-billion over three years to start to implement the Kirwin Commission’s recommendations,” says Cheryl Bost, the President of the Maryland State Education Association.
She says all counties in Maryland will benefit. “Frederick County and school systems across the state will see increases for teacher pay. The local school system has to make a commitment. But they can get an additional amount of money from the state so they can increase teacher salaries,” says Bost.
There will also be funding more staffing, such as additional teachers, psychologists and counselors. “And it will also will help increase the number of community schools, which bring in services to help students, especially those in concentrated poverty,” says Bost. There will also be increased funding to work with special education students.
This legislation had bipartisan support when it was in the Legislature, and that’s why Bost says she believes Governor Larry Hogan will sign the bill into law. “And it also includes part of what the Governor wanted which is an inspector general to look to make sure there’s no waste or fraud or misuse of funding,” she said. “So it does incorporate a piece of that I know that he was looking for, and the General Assembly tried to work with him so that he could sign and release the funding this year.”
Bost notes that passage of this legislation occurred a few weeks after the March for Our Schools, which was a rally and march to the State House in Annapolis to encourage legislators to provide more funding for education. “It showed that this is a community of supporters for education. It was not just teachers or educational support professionals. But it was parents and students and just community advocates,” she says.
By Kevin McManus