Blueprint Oversight Board Recommends Extended Timeline for Local Implementation

The statewide board tasked with overseeing implementation of the landmark Blueprint for Maryland’s Future law has recommended an extended timeline for local implementation of the education reform law.

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.

While the Blueprint had an original recommended soft deadline of March for the state’s 24 local school systems to submit implementation plans, the AIB is now suggesting it could be done in three phases. The recommendations come as counties have expressed concerns in expedited implementation and as the AIB recognizes ongoing constrains related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the October 13 meeting of the AIB, executive director Rachel Hise summarized how the recommended three-part implementation would look in each of four areas: early childhood education, high-quality and diverse teachers and leaders, college and career readiness and additional resources for students. She said the updated proposed timeline was created after a recent presentation from State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury in which he told the AIB that local school leaders needed more time to implement plans.

Adjusted timeline under the proposal:

  • Phase One: In March 2023, schools would submit a variety of plans, including:
    • plans for college and career readiness paths for students in grades 11 and 12 to earn college credits or career and technical education, that “require all certified school personnel who have regular and direct contact with students to complete annual training on student behavioral health”; and
    • plans for encouraging and supporting teachers, especially those from “historically underrepresented populations,” to obtain and maintain national board certification.
  • Phase Two: In March 2024, local school officials would implement other programs such as a new system of professional development that helps teachers advance in their careers.
    • Prior, the state Department of Education (MSDE) needs to design that program.
  • Phase Three: By July 2027, each local school system would have to show how all plans would be incorporated into their school district between the 2028 and 2032 budget years.
  • Ongoing: Local school systems would have to achieve some objectives in all three phases, including:
    • Expanding access for 3- and 4-year-old children to enroll in pre-kindergarten;
    • Providing individualized career counseling services for middle and high school students;
    • Starting work to increase minimum starting salary to $60,000; and
    • Increasing per pupil funding for English language learners and special education students.

A draft of the entire Blueprint plan and implementation recommendations should be published this week and a public hearing on the plan is scheduled for November 10. The AIB is then expected to vote on a final plan and set of recommendations and then submit them to the governor and General Assembly by December 1, ahead of the 2023 legislative session.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more on Blueprint implementation and the AIB’s ongoing work.

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