Governor Larry Hogan today was joined by Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch to announce the appointment of Dr. William E. Kirwan as the Chair of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. Dr. Kirwan, who served as University System of Maryland Chancellor from 2002-2015, will lead the panel tasked with recommending changes in the way Maryland finances public education.
From The Baltimore Sun,
The General Assembly created the commission this year to re-examine the education aid formula crafted by the Thornton Commission — named after Chairman Alvin Thornton — from 1999 to 2002. The formula was enacted by the legislature in 2002 and has governed the distribution of billions of dollars a year in school aid to local jurisdictions since then.
The panel, which inevitably will become known as the Kirwan Commission, is scheduled to begin work this fall and produce a preliminary report in December. It is expected to issue its final report and recommendations in December 2017 so that it can be considered in the legislature’s 2018 session.
The panel is charged with re-examining such issues as funding for disabled children, low-income students and non-English speakers. It will also study how to handle counties with declining enrollments and ways of expanding pre-kindergarten and other early childhood education, among other topics.
Hogan gave the panel a broad mandate to make recommendations for improvements.
“In order to live up to its potential, the commission must resist the temptation to focus entirely on education funding, to the exclusion of innovative new ideas that will truly change our schools for the better,” he said.
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