Kirwan Commission Releases Report

Kirwan Commission Releases Formal Report, Much-Awaited Legislation Still Pending

The Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, Chaired by former University of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, has released its interim report, wrapping months of work throughout 2018 and into 2019. Read the full report online.

The report itself mostly formalizes and formats elements that have already been distributed – see previous Conduit Street coverage.

Section-by-section shortcuts:
Call to Action
Background on Commission’s Work
Summary of Findings and Approach
Summary of Final Recommendations and Costs
Final Recommendations and Cost Estimates By Policy Area
Total Cost Estimates
Fiscal 2020 Funding Priorities
Remaining Work and Next Steps for the Commission

Personal letter from Bill Valentine (MACo representative)

From the “Remaining Work” section, a view on steps ahead for the Commission:

With the total estimated cost of implementing the Commission’s policy recommendations finalized, the Commission must now determine the distribution of the costs between the State and local jurisdictions. The Presiding Officers of the General Assembly have asked the chair of the Commission to recommend membership of a small working group that will work with staff to develop recommendations for the Commission to consider in fall 2019.

The small working group and the Commission will be considering, among others, issues related to enrollment, wealth, equity, and local effort, as discussed further below. It also must determine how the costs will be incorporated into existing or new funding formulas (e.g., foundation per pupil amount), and whether costs will be wealth equalized and shared between the State and local jurisdictions or will be distributed as categorical programs funded by the State. Commission staff and APA presented preliminary formula recommendations on the allocation of costs in December 2018; however, these figures must be further reviewed and finalized. The Commission was also asked to make a recommendation for the 2019 session on the appropriate regional inflationary index to be used in adjusting education aid formulas.

Many of the Commission’s recommendations are expected to be incorporated into one or more bills, still yet to be introduced during the 2019 legislative session.

Also, read the coverage from the online site Maryland Matters, largely focusing on the various letters of dissent or clarification submitted by Commission members (at the Chair’s invitation) and published along with the main report.


Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties