Annapolis, Maryland, February 12, 2021: Today the Senate joined the House in the final step to override the governor’s veto of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future which commits the state to invest in Maryland’s students by implementing the 10-year strategic plan to fund education equitably, raise academic achievement, and strengthen the educator workforce. Baltimore County elementary school teacher and Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) President Cheryl Bost released the following statement:
“We are thrilled that both houses of the General Assembly have united again in support of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that every student in every neighborhood has a great public school. In the wake of the pandemic, investing in our schools and students through the Blueprint is more important and necessary than ever. We know that our students will benefit from the Blueprint’s plan to expand career and technical education, community schools, and pre-kindergarten, hire more educators and pay them as professionals, give greater support to struggling students, special education, and English language learners, focus on mental health supports, and commit to creating lasting educational equity and, ultimately, a more prosperous future for Maryland. Today, we celebratethe years of educator-led activism to bring us to this moment, as well as the hard work and overwhelming support of legislators to advance this transformational billand pass a new funding formula that supports our students, educators, and schools.”
Educators have been leading the advocacy charge for a new funding formula for years. Over the last four years, educator activism in support of a new funding formula has included:
- Holding two major rallies, the March for Our Schools (2019) and the Rally to Fix the Fund (2018), which brought more than 10,000 educators and public education supporters to Annapolis. The March for Our Schools was the largest rally in the state capital in nearly a decade.
- Spearheading the passage of Question 1 during the 2018 election to ensure that casino revenues would finally go to increasing education funding and helping to set the stage for funding the Blueprint. Question 1 passed with more than 89% of the vote, making it the most successful statewide ballot initiative in more than 20 years.
- Sending more than 150,000 emails and making more than 10,000 calls to legislators over the last four years in support of the Blueprint and a new funding formula for our schools.
- Organizing dozens of Blueprint community forums across the state, bringing together more than 2,000 Marylanders to discuss our schools and the importance of the Blueprint.
The Blueprint 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. Revising the funding formula has been a top goal of educators and a broad coalition of education advocates for years. Over the next decade, the Blueprint will deliver billions of dollars of new investment in Maryland schools to end the persistent underfunding of Maryland’s public schools of at least $2.9 billion per year according to an independent analysis overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education. Thanks to the advance work of the legislature, this new formula—and the new accountability system to back it—is near-entirely funded through FY26. Overriding the veto of the Blueprint will also enact the Built to Learn Act, a needed multi-billion investment to upgrade school facilities across the state.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is continuing to follow the overrides of Governor Larry Hogan’s veto’s throughout the legislature and will bring more coverage in the following days.