The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus, a chapter organization of MACo, discussed education funding and the activities of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known as the “Kirwan” Commission) on August 17 at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks greeted attendees and made brief remarks on the issues of racism and hate. Alsobrooks stressed the need to continue to come together and understand one another.
Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice discussed the issue of education funding from the perspectives of equality, equity, and liberation. Rice argued that in order to reach a liberation result, the pending education funding recommendations of the Kirwan Commission must focus on: (1) access to universal pre-kindergarten; (2) targeted funding for at-risk students; (3) reviewing the Geographic Cost of Education Index formula; (4) placing more high quality teachers in at-risk schools; and (5) providing incentives to teach at at-risk schools. Rice also stressed the importance of technical and vocational training, noting that while vocational jobs have been overlooked they are usually stable and provide good incomes.
The Caucus plans on sending a letter to the Kirwan Commission highlighting the concerns raised in Rice’s presentation.
Prince George’s County Council Member Karen Toles chaired the event. Toles has been president of the Caucus for the last three years and will be replaced by incoming president Rice.