The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup, has now been created to make recommendations for the distribution of funds by local school districts and between state and local governments. This workgroup will also make recommendations for specific funding formulas. I am greatly troubled by the make-up of the workgroup, which has only two members to represent interests of the county governments that pay the local costs of schools.
Time is ticking down on the largest school construction bill in Maryland history.With just five days until the end of the General Assembly session April 8, the Senate has yet to pass HB727, dubbed the Build to Learn Act, which would provide an additional $2.2 billion for school construction, divvying up the bulk of the funding to the state’s largest counties.
Currently, 27% of the state’s schools carry the green school certification. A bill before the General Assembly would seek to increase that number to 50%.
In the college application process, one little box is worth thousands of dollars: the one linked to in-state tuition. Checking that box for the University of Maryland College Park, for example, saves you $24,600 — the difference between paying in-state tuition of $8,651 for the current academic year versus $33,272 for out-of-state students. Some students, however, may be getting an in-state tuition break who shouldn’t be.
Here’s some good news for Maryland’s public school students – the state Department of Education plans to cut the time they spend taking standardized tests. The new Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) is being developed to replace the PARCC exams that have been used for the past four years to measure progress in areas such as language arts, math, science and social studies.
As we begin national School Choice Week, here’s an open letter to Brit Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, which completed its preliminary report on Friday with no mention of charter schools.
The most expensive and most controversial issue facing the new legislature — increasing the formulas for school funding — has been shelved for another year.
The House speaker and Senate president told the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education in a letter that there was not enough time for the legislature to take up both its policy changes and its funding decisions in the 90-day session that starts in three weeks.
The commission will be proposing a major bump in teach pay, raising pay for all Maryland public school teachers by 10% between 2020 and 2022, with a minimum teacher salary of $60,000 phased-in by 2024. The commission is also proposing a new career ladder for teachers and additional certifications for teachers under the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This will raise average teacher pay in Maryland from the current $69,557 to $93,137 by 2029. In the final year of phase-in, the additional state spending is $1.3 billion, according to preliminary costs estimates by the Department of Legislative Services.
Thornton failed to deliver the improvement in student performance that its authors envisioned because no one was held accountable, says consultant Marc Tucker. Maryland now ends up with one of the most expensive state systems in the United States but only average student performance. Kirwan will not succeed and be any better than its predecessor unless there is a strong oversight body to make sure it will succeed.
How much it will cost to expand pre-Kindergarten to most 3- and 4-year-olds in Maryland or to substantially raise teacher salaries have become heated arguments in the race for governor. But the state Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education that is supposed to be determining the price tags for these and other big public school changes appears to be months away from decisions on revising funding formulas that was the basic charge of the commission.
The Kirwan education commission Thursday morning is set to take up the final detailed recommendations for much more pre-Kindergarten in Maryland and higher salaries and a new career ladder for teachers — both programs with “significant fiscal impact.” Two new polls out this week seek to bolster the argument that spending more money on these recommendations has broad support and is needed.