Education Leaders Share Plans and Priorities in Deep House Briefing

The House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees met on February 17 for a legislative briefing from the Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) and State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury.

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.

On February 17, lawmakers heard from the AIB’s Chair, Ike Leggett, and newly hired executive director, Rachel Hise, about the challenges the board faced in getting started, including being several months behind schedule and operating on a partial budget.

On February 14, the board revealed a revised suggested timeline for its work, as it was up against several looming deadlines set in state law that it couldn’t feasibly meet after getting a late start. Under the proposed updated plan, the AIB would complete a comprehensive implementation plan by December of this year, a full eight month later than originally planned. The current deadline for completion is this week.

The AIB also talked about a preliminary plan to solicit public comments on its master implementation plan — a process not required by the Blueprint or the board’s charge, but one that it said would provide it with important feedback.

Also discussed was the composition and approval of the AIB membership, who were confirmed by the Senate on February 15. Notably, the February 17 briefing featured important conversation about a pending set of bills before the legislature, HB 633 and SB 933, which would expand the existing board by several members to include one from each region: Western Maryland, Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore, and Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. The bills are a legislative attempt to address ongoing concerns about the geographic and demographic diversity of the board.

The committees also heard from State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury on the Maryland State Department of Education’s work to implement the Blueprint.

Video of the February 17 briefing is on the Ways and Means Committee’s YouTube channel.

Prior Conduit Street coverage on the AIB: