Counties Request Financial Support from the State for Expansion of Blueprint School Staff Pay

On March 1, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in support of HB 883 – Primary and Secondary Education – Public School Employees – Job Duties and Salaries with amendments.

She also testified before the Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee on the bill’s cross-file, SB 791 on the same day.

This bill would expand minimum salary and bonus requirements for teachers under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (The Blueprint) to other school staff not negotiated in the law. While counties remain eager to provide all school staff with support that reflects their value to the State, and are actively working to raise the pay of teachers under the Blueprint framework, the requirements of HB 883 would impose a burdensome, unfunded mandate on school systems.

Accordingly, counties propose a simple amendment to the bill instructing the State to appropriate adequate funds to pay for the increases in base salary and merit bonuses prescribed by HB 883 / SB 791.

From the MACo Testimony:

The Blueprint was negotiated and settled just a few years ago to include substantial salary adjustments and base pay requirements for all of Maryland’s public school teachers. Counties are actively working to meet those requirements and to prepare for these costly long-term benefits while remaining fiscally responsible to Maryland taxpayers. HB 883 would negate that preparatory work and the personnel compromises under the Blueprint. It would be not only ill-advised public policy to revisit the extensive work of the Kirwan Commission and the subsequent multi-party negotiations that compose the Blueprint law, but it would also be financially distressing for counties as they work to implement other key, costly aspects of the Blueprint, like prekindergarten expansion and college and career readiness.

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