Bipartisan Blueprint Legislation Passed With Support of Majority of Republican Legislators
This afternoon, Gov. Hogan allowed SB 1030, legislation to begin implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, to go into law without his signature. He also released $255 million in additional education funding passed in a bipartisan budget. That funding is the first part of a three-year, $1.1 billion spending boost included in the Blueprint bill.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously 45-0 and the House 114–20, showcasing a new bipartisan consensus within the legislature that Maryland should close its multi-billion dollar school funding gap.
Maryland State Education Association President and Baltimore County teacher Cheryl Bost released the following statement:
“While educators are surprised that Gov. Hogan did not sign bipartisan legislation backed by a majority of Republican legislators, we are thrilled that the work of legislators on both sides of the aisle to begin phasing in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will still go into law and immediately help improve education across the state. We thank both Democratic and Republican leadership in the legislature for their support in taking this huge first step.
“Teachers and other educators will see their largest raise since the 2008 recession. More than 200 high-poverty schools will add wrap-around services such as counseling and healthcare to break down economic barriers to learning. Schools in every zip code will hire more special educators and paraprofessionals to help struggling learners and students with disabilities.
“We know this funding will go to these dedicated purposes because of strong accountability measures in the law. In addition to including Gov. Hogan’s proposal of creating an inspector general for education, the bill requires audits of school systems on a broad array of matters including ‘fraud, waste, and abuse.’ This is just the beginning of an accountability plan developed by the Kirwan Commission that will ensure any additional funding for education is spent on research-based, student-centered policies recommended by the commission and passed into law by the legislature.
“While educators advocated for a faster implementation timeline at the beginning of the 2019 legislative session, we know this is the boldest phase-in possible given current budget limitations. But we can delay no more. We are ready to work with anyone on the Kirwan Commission or otherwise—including Gov. Hogan—on a fiscally responsible plan to close our multi-billion dollar school funding gap. But we must remember that every year that goes by without passing a new funding formula is another class of students that moves through underfunded schools.”