Kirwan Blueprint “Markup” Underway as House Decisions Approach

The Kirwan Blueprint bill, HB 1300, is moving toward House action – with a lengthy series of amendments on the table, and a timetable for votes in the days ahead.

Delegate Ben Barnes, Appropriations Subcommittee Chair

A Thursday afternoon meeting of the two Education Subcommittees in the House, from the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees, laid out a lengthy series of changes to the much-watched Kirwan Blueprint bill for school funding. The framework paves the way for House consideration and action in the next week.

Stakeholders have been submitting amendments, both substantive and technical, since the bill’s introduction, and the Thursday presentation included items drawn from the many submissions. A “reprint” incorporating the initial batch of leadership-sought amendments is expected in advance or Committee work sessions next week.

Meaningful changes to the county funding obligations are among the items embedded in the amendments

From detailed coverage on Maryland Matters:

Del. Ben Barnes (D-Prince George’s), chairman of the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of Appropriations, said proposed changes to the funding formula include a new “maximum local effort index” that would attempt to balance a county’s wealth and its required local share of education funding formulas to bring all jurisdictions in the state closer to an average effort.

As a result, the state would increase annual funding for the city and Prince George’s by $146.9 million and $202.9 million respectively by 2030.

“It is not what the Kirwan Commission envisioned, to have our least wealthy counties have the largest local shares,” Barnes said Thursday.

Read the Maryland Matters full coverage for more perspective on the proposal and its reframing.

Follow Conduit Street for a more detailed analysis of the bill’s fiscal components, once amendments or a bill reprint are made available.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties