Blueprint Accountability Board Looks to Adjust Deadlines

The Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board, after a late start and budget delays, is unlikely to meet several upcoming deadlines in laws. The Board is now weighing options to adjust deadlines and continue ramping up its work. 

The Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) is tasked with overseeing the implementation of Maryland’s major education policy reform initiative known as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

After a rocky start and several months’ of delays, the AIB is up-and-running. Just last week, it announced Rachel Hise, longtime education expert and policy analyst behind the Blueprint, as its executive director. However, without a full operating budget and staff, the AIB’s rollout is proving challenging. Now, it faces a series of deadlines stipulating in state law, that it’s unlikely to meet.

Maryland Matters explained where the Board’s budget currently stands:

The Blueprint bill stipulates that the governor fund $1.8 million per year for the AIB to support a total of 15 staff members, as well as an additional $3 million for technical assistance to local school systems through the 2024 fiscal year.

Because the Blueprint officially became law after a veto override last year, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) did not have to include this funding in his proposed budget for this fiscal year, which started July 1. To account for this, lawmakers directed the first $4.8 million from new sports betting revenue to go to the AIB.

Revenue to the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission from sports betting is estimated to generate $13 million this year, so the AIB should be fully funded by the end of the fiscal year, Hise said.

As part of the governor’s annual budget package released last month, Hogan set aside $280,000 for the AIB to use this year, which will become available once the General Assembly passes a budget bill, likely in April. The AIB will be able to hire four more staff members with those funds, Hise said.

Notably, the governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, introduced earlier this legislative session, does fully fund the AIB at $4.8 million.

In the meantime, the AIB will have to work without a full-time dedicated staff, making several upcoming deadlines virtually impossible to be met. As such, the Board plans to meet with State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury and State Board of Education President Clarence Crawford next week to consider adjustments to the Blueprint implementation timeline.

With the deadlines being stipulated in state law, however, the AIB will need to have any proposed timeline and deadline changes approved by the General Assembly and the governor. Hise suggested that the board will make a pitch to both branches by mid-February.

Read the full Maryland Matters article.

Prior Conduit Street coverage on the AIB: