Governor Declines Invitation to Kirwan, Relies on Brinkley

Dr. William E. “Brit” Kirwan
Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley

In a letter sent by William E. “Brit” Kirwan, Chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, Governor Hogan was invited to directly address the Commission at an upcoming meeting. Kirwan believes that the Commission members “would benefit greatly by hearing directly” from the Governor and suggested he hoped to “find common ground on how we can ensure that all Maryland students have access to a high quality education.”

This invitation was declined through a letter at the reconvened Commission meeting on October 30. The letter, written by Budget Secretary David Brinkley, makes it very clear that he is the Governor’s designee on the Kirwan Commission and will be the one “discussing these matters on the governor’s behalf.” Secretary Brinkley’s letter also reiterated the Governor’s concerns with the price tag associated with the Commission’s recommendations.

The tensions were high at the October 30 meeting, with many Commission members taking time to express their opinions of the situation. Watch the Commission meeting.

From Secretary Brinkley’s letter:

Regrettably, even after more than three years of hearings and meetings, there is still no clear plan for how to fulfill the massive financial obligation required for these initiatives. According to the Department of Legislative Services, the State will face a budget shortfall of $5 billion between FY21 and FY24. This does not even take into account the spending levels required by the Commission’s recommendations, which would push our deficit to $18.7 billion.

Moreover, I will continue to fight over the next few weeks to make sure that the Commission implements strict, commonsense accountability measures that will go hand-in-hand with any policy changes or funding formula revisions. Maryland students deserve a great education, but Maryland taxpayers also deserve to know that their taxes are being spent where they are supposed to be spent- and aren’t simply being thrown at the problem over and over again but expecting different results.