On March 6, 2020, the House of Delegates passed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a 10-year strategic plan to raise academic achievement and strengthen the educator workforce. Baltimore County elementary school teacher and Maryland State Education Association president Cheryl Bost released the following statement:
“Tonight legislators took a huge step toward realizing our once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that every student in every neighborhood has a great public school. The House’s action to pass the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future gets us closer to expanding career and technical education, hiring more educators and increasing their pay, providing additional support to struggling learners, and creating lasting educational equity and a more prosperous future for Maryland. Our kids can’t wait for the adequate and equitable school funding that they deserve—we must keep the momentum going and pass a new funding formula during the 2020 legislative session.”
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future passed the House with overwhelming support. The Senate will now take up the bill.
The vote comes almost exactly one year after 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 convening in the capital on March 11, 2019. Since then, educators and Blueprint advocates have brought thousands of Marylanders together at dozens of Blueprint community forums, and sent thousands of emails and made thousands of calls to legislators in support of the Blueprint.
The Blueprint (HB 1300/SB 1000) is based on the findings of the Kirwan Commission and revises the state’s school funding formula for the first time in nearly two decades. Over the next 10 years, the Blueprint calls for billions of dollars of new investment in Maryland schools to expand career and technical education, community schools that address widespread poverty and special needs, and make pre-k affordable; increase educator salaries, retention and staffing; create a rigorous accountability system; and employ a number of other research-backed strategies for improving schools.
The Blueprint has widespread public support to address the billions in annual underfunding of the state’s public schools.
Before the House vote, the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees amended HB 1300 to address issues concerning the ability of some local jurisdictions to meet new funding expectations. These amendments will result in the state’s absorbing a greater proportion of the increased education funding in 17 jurisdictions: 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.