It’s a 10-year plan to improve education in the state.
Annapolis, Md (KM) The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future passed the House of Delegates Friday night. It’s a 10-year plan to improve education throughout the state which is expected to cost billions of dollars.
The Blueprint calls for changes to public education, including increased salaries for teachers, expanding career and technology education and pre-kindergarten. It also calls for the establishment of community schools to provide services for students from impoverished backgrounds.
Critics have said the Blueprint is expensive, and could lead to tax increases to pay for it. But Cheryl Bost, the President of the Maryland State Teachers Association, says most citizens are willing to pay more in taxes if the money goes toward education. “There’s been several polls that have gone out for Maryland citizens that said ‘if your taxes, or a tax was increased, and if it was specifically going toward education, how would you feel about that,'” she says. “And about 74% of Marylanders said if they knew a specific tax increase was going to education, they would be in favor of that.”
The plan would also require a financial commitment from the counties as well as the state. ” Many county executives were there when we had the hearing on the blueprint, and they’re committed to do this,” Bost said. “Because they see the prosperity at the end of this 10 years, when we have more students that are in jobs, paying taxes, and property values go up when our school systems are rated high”
She said a House Committee passed legislation last week to absorb a greater cost for 17 counties which may not be able to pay their share for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Those counties are Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester.
The Blueprint now goes to the State Senate.
By Kevin McManus