Missed the Kirwan Hearing? Here’s Great Coverage

Maryland Matters breaks down the Kirwan Blueprint legislation, summarized some of the most on-point testimony, and gives the best policy summary of the issues now facing the General Assembly in this center stage education debate. You'll be forgiven if you missed the all-day "rally" and public hearing on the Kirwan Blueprint legislation on Monday February 17. It's all available online if you're a binge-watcher. If you're looking for the Cliff's Notes version, though, to stay…

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Kirwan Blueprint – Source Data/Assumptions Unveiled

A trove of data, and underlying assumptions, used to assemble SB 1000/HB 1300, the Kirwan Blueprint bill, has been released online. For counties, and other stakeholders, analyzing and assessing the broad Kirwan Blueprint education funding plan, a major ingredient has become publicly available. Several sets of data and projections, each relevant to the legislation's fiscal estimates, are now posted no the Department of Legislative Services website: DLS Modeling Assumptions under HB 1300/SB 1000 Projected Full-Time…

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MACo on Kirwan Blueprint: Rely on State Funding

MACo has submitted a Letter of Information for today's public hearing on the Kirwan Blueprint legislation. The statement calls for the State to provide the resources for the ambitious school funding plan - citing the most equitable state funding systems, where the State is the lead player in funding. Read the text of MACo's statement below: World Class Schools – A State Priority, Should Rely on State Funding The State of Maryland should live up…

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Highway User Revenues, 2020 Style

Legislation is in to revisit the long-lasting debate about Highway User Revenues - the share of State motor fuel and vehicle taxes distributed to local governments for their own road and bridge maintenance. The bill is worth a real look. Senator Andrew Serafini and Delegate Carl Anderton are lead sponsors of legislation to extend and revive the local distribution of transportation revenues. It's been a couple of years since this debate took center stage -…

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Breaking Down The Kirwan Blueprint Bill

The "Blueprint for Maryland's Future" legislation, implementing the full fiscal recommendations of the Kirwan Commission is available at last. Here, Conduit Street breaks down the main fiscal elements of the most consequential bill any of us have ever seen. The Basics -We don't have a "fiscal note" yet, so it's impossible to verify bottom-line numbers -The various phase-ins and cost splits all match up with the existing summary reports -The state/county funding splits are unchanged…

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Sun Opinion Page Hosts “Blueprint” Back-and-Forth

As the Kirwan school funding debate heats up in Annapolis, the Sun carries varying views on the logic behind, the resources for, and the solutions embraced, of the ambitious plan. Dr. Alvin Thornton, Chair of the Prince George's County Board of Education, and namesake of the far-reaching school commission that developed most of the formulas currently in place across Maryland, urges that Maryland policy leaders adopt and support the full Kirwan funding plan. From his…

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Kirwan “Blueprint” Bill: Coming This Week, Hearing Feb 17

The Chair of the Senate's Education Committee told colleagues today "by the end of the week, you'll be receiving the printed copy of the Kirwan bill."  Senator Paul Pinsky, member of the Kirwan Commission and Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs announced on the Senate floor that the bill text would be available by the end of this week. He then announced that the bill would have its public hearing…

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Frederick To Pursue Ag Preservation Acceleration Initiative

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced a major initiative to protect prime agricultural lands - in pursuit of 100,000 acres preserved. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today announced an initiative to accelerate agriculture preservation efforts. She proposed legislation that would increase the county’s investment to save valuable farmland in an effort to achieve the longstanding goal of preserving 100,000 acres of agricultural land. Preserving large blocks of land is key to ensuring the long-term economic…

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Statewide “Source of Income” Housing Policy Proposed

A bill to establish a "Source of Income" policy statewide, to reduce housing discrimination, has been proposed for consideration this session. HB 231, the "Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act," sponsored by Delegate Brooke Lierman with over thirty co-sponsors, has been introduced. The bill would create a statewide policy to ban housing discrimination based on the occupant's "source of income." Multiple local governments in Maryland have taken up and enacted local laws to this effect -…

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Delegate Floats Idea: School Taxes in Maryland?

During a House Ways and Means briefing, a leadership Delegate asked, and mused, about the potential to grant local Boards of Education independent taxing authority. January 20 was "Local Government Day" in the House Ways and Means Committee - featuring a technical but informative set of presentations by legislative staff, MACo, and the Maryland Municipal League. See Conduit Street coverage of the MACo briefing. As MACo's presentation on county priorities wrapped, Committee members asked various…

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