Kirwan Commission and The Blueprint for Maryland's Future
The League of Women Voters of Maryland, including LWV Baltimore County, is carefully following the Kirwan Commission report. The Commission’s recommendations will dramatically change pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 education in Maryland. After a careful assessment of learning conditions, the commission has made a number of recommendations to improve education.
- Full-day education for 3-year-olds from low-income households
- Universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds
- Better college and career readiness training
- Higher salaries for teachers
- Better teacher training
- More resources for at-risk students
- Transparent governance and accountability
- More money for schools where many students live in poverty
Most critically, the Kirwan Commission has recommended a $3.8 billion increase in spending to take place over a decade. About half of the increase would come from city and county governments and the rest from the state. The commission has developed a series of recommendations on how the additional money might be spent, including creating higher standards for entering the teaching profession, raising teacher pay, providing more funding for pre-kindergarten and focusing resources on schools where there is a high concentration of children in poverty.
The funding increases are paid for by a combination of casino revenue, a state set-aside of $200 million in the fiscal year 2019 budget and an adjustment to online sales tax compliance. The report is about making sure we are investing the new funding in strategies that are backed by research and educator expertise.
For basic information see http://www.mdcoalition.org/blog/just-what-is-this-kirwan-commission.