Sun: It Wasn’t Kirwan’s Job To Say How To Pay For Its Plan

The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board continues its missives on the proposed education plan by refuting the argument that the Kirwan Commission “failed” to develop a financing plan for its recommendations – something that was never in its charge.


By now, every stakeholder (and Conduit Street reader) knows the basics:  Maryland is about to fully debate an ambitious and expensive plan to bring our public schools to “world class” status. The plan is the product of the Kirwan Commission, whose three years of work have developed broad policy recommendations and tricky funding requirements on both the State and counties.

The Baltimore Sun, whose editorial board has frequently weighed in on the plan and its merits, now focuses on recent debate on the plan, and observes that critics of the Commission who point out it hasn’t recommended a means to pay for its plan are misunderstanding its charge, or otherwise offering a misleading perspective.

From their editorial:

The expectation that the Kirwan Commission should be recommending how to set state budget priorities is beyond absurd. Local school boards don’t tell Baltimore city or the 23 counties how to fund education; they pass their budgets and leave it in the hands of the fiscal stewards who balance competing interests. The Maryland State Department of Education doesn’t tell lawmakers how to fund its share of the education mission either. The buck stops in the State House.


Read the full editorial on the Baltimore Sun website.

Read more Kirwan coverage on the Conduit Street blog.


School funding will be a central topic during MACo’s upcoming Winter Conference. Notably a general session Friday morning on “Breaking Down The Blueprint” will feature varied perspectives on the plan and its implementation.

The 2019 MACo Winter Conference, Building for the Future,” will be held on December 4-6, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties