It contains funding for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Frederick County Delegate Carol Krimm (D) was one of several lawmakers who got a chance on Monday to go over Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) proposed fiscal year 2020- Budget. The spending plan totals $47.9-billion with a $108-million fund balance, and $1.2-billion for the state’s rainy day fund. Krimm calls it a “modest” proposal with few new initiatives.
“The one aspect that concerned me a little bit was the community colleges are not getting the funding that their formula would dictate,”: she said. “They are getting an increase, but they’re getting a slower growth that what they were hoping for.”
But Krimm hopes that she and other legislators can find ways to increase funding for community colleges. “:We can’t add to the budget. We can only cut the budget. Maybe we can figure out a way to get the community colleges up a little bit in their funding. But that does concern me,” she says.
The spending plan also caps tuition at the University System of Maryland at 2%.
Delegate Krimm also says the Governor’s budget does contain funding for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a series of recommendations from the Kriwan Commission designed to improve public education. “There’s enough funding identified for this year’s; budget and next year’s budget to fund Kriwan,” she says. “ti’s the out years we’re looking at and how we’re going to fund the program.” These recommendations are being rolled out over the next ten years.
One of the recommendations is closing the achievement gap. “It’s really about poverty students, and how they never catch to the same level as other students,” says Krimm. Recommendations from the Kirwin Commission contained in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future are expected to close the gap, she says.
Other recommendations deal with expanding early childhood education and improving pay and working conditions for teachers. “These are programs that have worked in other states and other countries where they have bast practices, and we’re trying to model them here in the state of Maryland,” says Krimm.
One of the goals is for students to be college or career ready by 10th grade so they can start on their college courses, or begin taking technical classes.
Because billions of dollars will be spent both on the state and local levels, Krimm says there will be accountability. She says there will be a state commission set up watch over how these recommendations are implemented, and how the money is being spent.
“What does this mean long term,” Krimm says. “It means we’re going to have better educated students, obviously. We’re going to have better jobs for those students.”
By Kevin McManus