The Kirwan Commission’s latest meeting saw a deep reaction to the formula funding workgroup’s proposals to “phase in” the Commission’s series of recommendations, and also focused on MSDE pending regulations for teacher certification.
The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education held its latest meeting on November 12, advancing their discussions toward a year-end final report.
Phase-In of Recommendations
The most compelling discussion of the day came as the full Commission heard from representatives of the formula funding workgroup convened to guide the monetary and distributional aspects of the plan.
The table above shows the multi-year phase-in of funding items, by “policy area” as detailed by the full Commission. A full-page pdf of the table is available online. Several Commission members asked questions about the timing, with questions and comments reflecting their concern that the “priorities” of the full Commission had been altered by the work of the formula funding work group. Workgroup representatives and staff resisted this suggestion, but the Commission’s discussion revealed tensions regarding the evolution toward a more “smooth” phase-in, as dictated by the General Assembly.
Other documents from the meeting discussing funding and timing issues:
- State Aid Increases v. Current Law Under The Blueprint for Maryand’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup Recommendations
- Commission Recommended Categorical Program Funding Amounts
- Fiscal 2025 through 229 Phase-in
- Increase in Direct State Aid under the Workgroup’s Recommendations over Current Law
- Comparing Local Appropriations and Local Share Fiscal 2022-2030
- Comparison of Funding by Student Types
- Fiscal 2018 County Expenditures by Function
Commission members discussed, at the end of the meeting, a potential new funding mandate for special education services. Multiple Commission members offered support for some variation on the notion, but the motion (after being amended by group discussion) was “tabled” to be re-raised at a future Commission meeting.
Among the potential elements of such a funding mandate may be that counties would be obliged to maintain local funds targeted toward special education services, even if that population declines. A reduction of 50% of the special education student population is a central vision of the Kirwan Commission recommendations, and is a major element of the “cost savings” embedded into its multi-year forecasts. The apparent incongruity between the State funding and the potential local funding mandate was not discussed during the Commission’s conversation, prior to its being tabled.
Teacher Certification – Pending Regulations
The first segment of the November 12 meeting focused on regulations proposed by the State Department of Education, and currently still pending. Commission members heard from multiple stakeholders, who raised concerns with both substance and process of the pending regulations. Since the Commission has discussed a “career ladder” extensively, a presentation on the Department regulations and the recommendations of the Commission was assembled and centered the discussion.
Documents from this section of the meeting:
- Comparison of Proposed State Board of Education Regulations Compared to Related Kirwan Commission Recommendations
- Summary of Meetings at the SBOE and PSTEB Regarding Proposed Regulatory Topics
- COMAR 13A.07.06 Programs for Professionally Certified Personnel
- Strengthening Teacher Preparation and Licensure in Maryland
- Letter from USM
- National Board Certification and Maryland’s Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
- NBPTS Participation and Passing Rate Assumptions
The Commission recessed following its full day meeting, for a short break before conducting a two hour public hearing on the recommendations of the formula funding workgroup, as well as the work of the Commission itself.
As always materials from the meeting, and video of each segment, are available on the Commission website.
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