Kirwan-Curious? The Sun Tackles The Questions You’re Afraid To Ask

Sun reporter Pamela Wood offers a “Kirwan 101” Summary of the major policies and politics of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.

question-mark-2110767_1920So… you’ve been trying to keep up with Kirwan and the school funding debate, but you have a day job and can’t dial in for 6 hours of meetings every two weeks for over three years. So, you’ve been left a bit behind… trying to sort out…just what is this really all about?

The Baltimore Sun has assembled a concise and reader-friendly article that might help you:  Key questions about the Kirwan Commission and the debate over funding Maryland’s public schools. Think of it as (with apologies to Vox) “Kirwan, explained.”

Here’s an excerpt, focusing on the tax effects:

Who’s paying for it?

The state government and local governments jointly pay for public education, and that wouldn’t change for the programs the commission is suggesting.

The impacts of the funding formulas vary from county to county, breaking down the amount they will contribute for costs vs. the state’s contributions. Some school districts would have to come up with significantly more money, while others would need minimal to no changes on how much local money would go into schools.

Local governments get most revenue from property taxes and a county-level income tax. So, counties that need to put significantly more into public schools could look to those areas to raise money.

The state’s share could come from a variety of sources. Already, state lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill requiring the state to spend $850 million on Kirwan programs for two years, starting July 1, 2020.

Sound like the level you’re looking for? Read more on the Sun website.

You may also enjoy tuning in to MACo’s Conduit Street podcast, where Kirwan and school funding have been a central theme of most recent episodes.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties