On Wednesday, January 22, MACo will host Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Lillian Lowery. Superintendent Lowery will speak with MACo’s Legislative Committee over lunch, following MACo’s first Legislative Committee meeting of the 2014 Session. Topics of discussion will include MACo’s Legislative Initiative, Common Core, and Pre-K education in Maryland.
MACo’s Education Initiative, Empowering School Board/County Partnerships, recognizes the shared aims of local school boards and county governments and seeks to strengthen and facilitate their collaboration. As described in MACo’s summary,
Local school boards and county governments share the responsibility for the education and well-being of schoolchildren. Creating a “fast track” state approval for local agreements on funding initiatives will encourage school boards and county governments to uncover new cost-saving strategies and improve the effectiveness of both system operations and classroom education. Reducing disincentives for discretionary education funding can encourage county support for innovative pilot programs, and more fairly recognize short-term needs or investments as outside perpetual funding mandates.
Superintendent Lowery is leading Maryland education system through the adoption of the Common Core curriculum and a new contract to develop student assessments for the new curriculum. MACo looks forward to the Superintendent’s thoughts on how the State will support the technology upgrades required for Common Core implementation and its testing program.
There will be several efforts to expand pre-K education in Maryland this Legislative Session. The Governor has placed $4.3 million in his budget for the “Maryland Prekindergarten Expansion Program Financing Fund.” The Lieutenant Governor has announced plans to use the funding to extend pre-K to 1,600 more Maryland children. We hope that the Superintendent will be able to provide some information on the intended use of this funding and any multi-year plans for expanding pre-K offerings in our State.
If you are a county elected official and would like to join MACo’s lunch with the Superintendent, please contact Allison Valliant at (410) 269-0043.