State Board of Education Elects New President

The Maryland State Board of Education this week unanimously elected Dr. Justin M. Hartings as president, and elected Stephanie Iszard as vice president.

According to a press release:

Justin Hartings Courtesy of MSDE

Dr. Hartings was elected in 2008 and 2012 to the Washington County Board of Education. He served as president of the board for two years and vice president for three. During his tenure on the board, Washington County Public Schools opened the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, the first public-private partnership public school construction project in Maryland, implemented the first of its kind county-wide digital learning plan for k-12 students, and developed a Hagerstown downtown partnership between Washington County Schools, the Maryland Theater, and the University System of Maryland – Hagerstown.

Dr. Hartings lives in Washington County with his wife and three children. His children all attend Washington County Public Schools.

Stephanie R. Iszard, M.Ed., has more than 25 years of administrative and classroom experience in the public and private sectors of education. Currently the principal at a private school in Prince Georges County, she obtained her B.A. in Education from the University of Louisiana and Master’s degree in Education from Regent University. Ms. Iszard earned a Lifetime Educator’s Certificate by the Executive Board of ACSI. She is certified by ACSI as a principal at all levels.

Stephanie Iszard Courtesy of MSDE

She has served the educational community as math instructor, Dean of Students, Instructional Council Member for developing curriculum, chair of several committees (safety, site advisory, funding, etc.), parent/student/ teacher conflict ombudsman, to name a few. Ms. Iszard loves getting parents and communities involved in the educational process. Black History Festivals, Cinco de Mayo Celebrations, and Pi Day Celebrations are a few examples. She has led fundraisers for various private institutions, written grants, and worked to get Smartboards in every classroom in her school. Her resolute drive and passion for teaching and challenging students to grow has made her prominent among her peers.

Stephanie R. Iszard, an Annapolis resident, was born and raised in southern Louisiana and has lived in Maryland over 23 years. She is the proud mother of, Zach, 23 and Katie, 22.

Read the full press release for more information.

Kirwan Commission Considers Major Pay Increase for Teachers

Eliminating the gap in compensation between teachers and high-status professions that require comparable levels of education is a major piece of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education’s preliminary report. The High-Quality Teachers and Leaders workgroup, one of four workgroups tasked with costing out the Commission’s preliminary recommendations, today discussed a potential model for increasing teacher pay commensurate with advancement on the career ladder.

Maryland Occupations/Salaries: Comparable Occupations List

According to the chart below, teachers in Maryland earn approximately 20% less than professionals working in comparable fields. The workgroup debated adjusting the “comparable profession” salaries to reflect a 10-month work year, which is typical for teachers. While the workgroup ultimately decided against adjusting the numbers, they did remove “Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers” from the list (the lowest paying comparable occupation), rejecting it as a similar profession.

Framework for Phase-in of Teacher Salary Increases

According to the Commission’s preliminary report, advancement up the ladder should be based on the acquisition of specified knowledge and skills, rigorous evidence of success as a classroom teacher, and/or additional responsibilities commensurate with the additional compensation. The chart below depicts a significant pay increase for teachers who obtain National Board Certification.

Notably, after determining the draft plan would fail to close the compensation gap between teachers and comparable professions, the workgroup asked staff to make a number of changes, including replacing the 10% pay increase in year four with a 40% or 50% pay increase in year four. Commission staff will present cost estimates for the proposed changes at the next meeting.

According to the workgroup, a systematic phase-in of salary increases for teachers (above and beyond cost-of-living adjustments) is necessary in order to stem the decline in teacher recruitment and retention and to begin reducing the gap between compensation levels for teachers and other professions requiring comparable levels of education.

Teacher and staff salaries drive education costs, often making up for more than half of school system budgets. The workgroup acknowledged that raising teacher pay will also result in higher teacher retirement costs and other post-employment benefits. Commission staff will present those fiscal estimates at the next meeting.

The Commission’s four working groups will continue working to develop a consensus on the design, implementation plan, and cost for each of the preliminary recommendations. Once the working groups have completed their work, they will present their recommendations and cost estimates to the full Commission. The chair will work with staff and consultants to develop a draft cost estimate based on the recommendations of the working groups (as considered by the full Commission) for the full Commission’s consideration.

The 2016 Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was created by legislation introduced in the General Assembly. The Commission membership parallels that of the earlier Thornton Commission.

The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

MACo is entitled to two representatives on the Commission, under the legislation. Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Chair, and Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Vice Chair, represent MACo on the Commission.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

2017 Preliminary Report

Previous Conduit Street Coverage

MACo’s Summer Conference will include a session on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education. The session, “Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0,” is scheduled for 10:15 am – 11:15 am on Saturday, August 18, 2018.

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

State Board Hears Update on School Safety Initiatives

The Maryland State Board of Education yesterday heard an update on school safety initiatives aimed at improving school safety through a variety of statewide standards and guidelines. As previously reported on Conduit StreetSB 1265, Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018, passed the General Assembly on the final day of the 2018 legislative session and was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan.

Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS)

MCSS is made an independent unit within MSDE. The bill transfers some of the center’s existing duties to the subcabinet, and adds the following duties to MCSS’s charge:

  • assist local school systems to identify resources and implement training for students and parents about relationship violence, identifying the signs of unhealthy relationships, and preventing relationship violence;
  • analyze data on SROs and develop guidelines for local school systems regarding the assignment and training of SROs;
  • certify school safety coordinators;
  • consult with local school systems on safety evaluations;
  • review and comment on school emergency plans; and
  • report on life-threatening incidents that occur on public school grounds.
Courtesy of MSDE

The bill establishes a School Safety Subcabinet, which also serves as the governing board for the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS). The State Superintendent or designee chairs the subcabinet and the Executive Director of MCSS provides staff.

The subcabinet is charged with multiple responsibilities, chief among them (1) collaborating with various stakeholders to provide a comprehensive, coordinated approach to school safety; (2) initiating collaborative partnerships and facilitating coordination among stakeholders to leverage existing resources to deliver school safety services uniformly to local school systems; (3) distributing grants from the Safe Schools Fund; and (4) adopting regulations to carry out its responsibilities. The subcabinet must submit an annual report with specified information.

The subcabinet is also given responsibility for making grants for security-related expenses to schools and child care centers at risk of hate crimes under Chapter 732 of 2016; the bill authorizes the Governor to transfer $1.0 million from the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for this purpose.

The School Safety Subcabinet Advisory Board is established and includes a broad array of stakeholders to advise and assist the subcabinet in carrying out its duties. A member of the advisory board may not receive compensation but is entitled to reimbursement of expenses.

Courtesy of MSDE

School Safety and Security Funding Overview

One-Time Funding:

  • $2.5 million in safety assessment grants to be administered by MCSS
  • $10 million in MSDE administered school safety grants
  • $10 million in grants to be administered by the Maryland Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC) for safety-related operating and capital projects
  • $10 million in school safety improvement grants provided in the capital budget

Permanent Funding:

  • $10 million in mandated funding in FY 2019 and beyond for school resource officers (SROs) and other local law enforcement strategies to provide adequate school coverage. MCSS will provide grants to local school systems and law enforcement agencies to meet the SRO/law enforcement coverage requirements. Grants must be made based on the proportion of public schools in each jurisdiction.
  • Minimum of $2 million for 13 new positions at the Maryland Center for School Safety
Courtesy of MSDE

School Resource Officers

A school resource officer is defined as (1) a law enforcement officer assigned to a school in accordance with a memorandum of understanding between a local law enforcement agency and a local school system or (2) a Baltimore City School Police Officer, as defined in current law. By September 1, 2018, MCSS, in consultation with local school systems, must develop a specialized curriculum to be used in training SROs that addresses specified issues. The curriculum must be submitted to the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (MPTSC) for approval. By March 1, 2019, MCSS must develop and submit to MPTSC for approval a model training program based on the curriculum. Each local law enforcement agency must enroll SROs either in (1) the MCSS model training program or (2) a local training program approved by MPTSC that is consistent with the approved curriculum. All SROs must complete an approved specialized training program by September 1, 2019.

MCSS must collect specified data on SROs and, by December 15, 2018, develop guidelines based on its analysis of the data to assist local school systems in (1) determining the appropriate number and assignment of SROs, including supplemental coverage by local law enforcement agencies and (2) collaborating and communicating with local law enforcement agencies. By July 1, 2019, each local school system must develop a plan in
consultation with local law enforcement to implement the guidelines and submit its plan to MCSS for review and comment.

Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, and each school year thereafter, each local school system must file a report with MCSS before the school year begins that demonstrates (1) that each public school has an SRO assigned to the school or (2) if no SRO is assigned to a public school, that adequate local law enforcement coverage will be provided to the school. MCSS must submit annual summaries of the SRO reports it receives to the Governor and General Assembly.

Deadlines: Center & Subcabinet

According to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), it is on track to meet the implementation deadlines outlined in the legislation.

Model Policy for Assessment Teams

By September 1, 2018, the subcabinet must develop a model policy for the establishment of one or more assessment teams in each local school system. The model policy must include specified provisions generally related to (1) the identification of, and intervention with, students or other individuals who may pose a threat to school safety; (2) the composition and appropriate number of assessment teams within local school systems; and (3) training for the assessment teams.

By September 1, 2019, each local school system must adopt a policy for the establishment of assessment teams that is consistent with the model policy. Local policies must include:

  • a process for regular assessment and intervention, including diversion and de-escalation, if an individual exhibits behavior that may pose a threat to school safety;
  • standards for timely response and procedures for coordination among members of the team, including referral of relevant information to appropriate authorities; and
  • standards and procedures for the referral of an individual for evaluation, services, or treatment when appropriate.
Courtesy of MSDE
Courtest of MSDE

Deadlines: School System

School Safety Evaluations and Emergency Plans

Each local school system must designate a school safety coordinator, who must be certified by MCSS and serve as the liaison between the local school system, local law enforcement, and MCSS. By June 15, 2019, and regularly thereafter, each local school system must conduct a safety evaluation of each school to (1) identify and, if necessary, develop solutions for physical safety concerns and (2) identify and evaluate any patterns of safety concerns on school property or at school-sponsored events. In conducting the safety evaluations, each safety coordinator must consult with MCSS, coordinate with IAC, and submit a summary of the completed evaluations to MCSS.

MSDE must update the Emergency Planning Guidelines for Local School Systems by December 1, 2019, to reflect the initial findings from local safety evaluations.

By July 1, 2020, and regularly thereafter, each local school system must update the school emergency plan for each public school. The plans must conform to the MSDE guidelines regarding how the school will address behavioral threats and emergency events. In updating the plans, local school systems must work with MCSS to correct any identified weaknesses.

School safety evaluations, emergency plans, and local law enforcement coverage policies are not subject to inspection under the Maryland Public Information Act, except by designated State agencies, emergency management agencies, and local law enforcement in the performance of their official duties.

Courtesy of MSDE

Mental Health Services 

By September 1, 2018, each local school system must appoint a mental health services coordinator to coordinate existing mental health services and referral procedures within the local school system. Working with specified local entities, the coordinator must (1) ensure that a student who is referred for mental health services obtains the necessary services; (2) maximize external funding for mental health and wraparound services, as defined by the bill; and (3) develop plans for delivering behavioral health and wraparound services to students who exhibit specified behaviors of concern. Grants from the Safe Schools Fund may be used to develop plans for delivering mental health and wraparound services. 

The bill requires the subcabinet to review the local plans for delivering behavioral health and wraparound services (discussed above) and identify gaps in the availability of services and providers for school-age children in the State by December 1, 2018. It also requires the Kirwan Commission to include in its final report (due December 31, 2018) recommendations for additional mental health and wraparound services in local school systems and funding required for those services.

Courtesy of MSDE

Useful Links

MSDE’s presentation to the State Board of Education.

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018: What You Need to Know

Vanderbilt Study: Tennessee Pre-K Program Shows Disappointing Results

Children participating in Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) program were more likely than those who didn’t attend the program to need special education services and showed higher instances of school rule violations in later grades, according to the latest results of an ongoing study by researchers at Vanderbilt University.

The researchers also found no differences in attendance rates between students who enrolled in the pre-K program and those who didn’t, and that VPK had no effects on attendance and retention in the later grades.

According to the Vanderbilt Study:

The inauspicious findings of the current study offer a cautionary tale about expecting too much from state pre-k programs. The fact that the Head Start Impact study – the only other randomized study of a contemporary publicly funded pre-k program – also found few positive effects after the pre-k year adds further cautions (Puma et al., 2012).

State-funded pre-k is a popular idea, but for the sake of the children and the promise of pre-K, credible evidence that a rather typical state pre-k program is not accomplishing its goals should provoke some reassessment. It is apparent that the phrase “high-quality pre-K” does not convey enough about what the critical elements of a program should be.

Expanding “high-quality” pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds and low-income three-year-olds is a hallmark of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence’s preliminary report. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Early Childhood Education workgroup, one of four workgroups tasked with costing out the Commission’s preliminary recommendations, last week released initial cost estimates for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K in Maryland — and the numbers are staggering.

According to the workgroup, expanding “high-quality,” full-day pre-K to low-income (300% FPL) three- and four-year-olds in Maryland would cost approximately $1 billion.

The Commission’s four working groups will continue working to develop a consensus on the design, implementation plan, and cost for each of the preliminary recommendations. Once the working groups have completed their work, they will present their recommendations and cost estimates to the full Commission. The chair will work with staff and consultants to develop a draft cost estimate based on the recommendations of the working groups for the full Commission’s consideration.

The 2016 Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was created by legislation introduced in the General Assembly. The Commission membership parallels that of the earlier Thornton Commission.

Learn more about the Kirwan Commission and its efforts to ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education at the MACo Summer Conference session “Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0.” The session will be held from 10:15 -11:15 am on Saturday, August 18.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

New Course Trains High School Students to Be 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

Students in Anne Arundel County will participate in the country’s first-ever program aimed at training high schoolers to be 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Glen Burnie High School is set to launch the program next year, which will focus on teaching students how to respond to a person calling 9-1-1 in distress and how to operate the technology in today’s 9-1-1 centers.

According to The Baltimore Sun:

Twenty-two applied to take “Police Communications: Entry Level Call Taker Training,” a yearlong elective class that includes classroom instruction, simulations and visits to the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s 911 dispatch center.

The 15 who are selected will learn computer-aided dispatch software; mapping location skills; and laws, policies and procedures for taking, screening and dispatching calls, according to the course description.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department, who proposed the program, hopes the class will help to fill vacancies at its 9-1-1 call centers, as well as 9-1-1 call centers across the state. High stress, training standards, and long hours have led to a nationwide shortage of 9-1-1 telecommunicators.

Maryland citizens demand and expect 9-1-1 emergency service to be reliable and efficient. Next-generation technology is required to keep up with this increasingly complex public safety function – improving wireless caller location, accommodating incoming text/video, and managing crisis-driven call overflows. Maryland must accelerate its move toward NG911, deliver these essential services equitably across the state, and assure effective coordination with communications providers.

Counties encourage efforts to enhance emergency communications in Maryland. HB 634/SB 285 – Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland – Establishment, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, urges a statewide effort to guide this critical transition, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise to address complex public safety concerns that will help Maryland prepare for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system that our residents expect and deserve.

Senate Bill 285, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan, passed the Senate unanimously on February 20. Its cross-file, House Bill 634, sponsored by Delegate Michael Jackson, passed the House of Delegates unanimously on March 15. Governor Hogan signed the legislation into law on April 24th.

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, learn best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data NG911 compliant at a session entitled, “Calibrating the Compass: GIS in a Next Gen 9-1-1 World,” on Thursday, August 16, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Conduit Street Podcast: On the Road with MACo, “Staggering” Price of Pre-K, & Primary Election Roundup

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss MACo’s odyssey across Maryland, update the “too close to call” county primary races, and explore the potential implications of the Kirwan Commission’s staggering cost estimates for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K in Maryland.

Listen here:

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Expanding Pre-K Comes with “Staggering” Price Tag

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Some County Primary Races Still Too Close to Call (Updated)

Cybersecurity CTE Programs on the Rise

Cybersecurity programs that allow students to earn professional credentials or college credit are becoming increasingly popular at schools across the country. The demand for these programs comes amid a skills shortage projection foreseeing 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the high-demand sector by 2021.

According to Ed Tech:

One need not even look beyond the school walls or district boundaries to see how important cybersecurity is — education is, after all, one of the most popular targets for hackers. In adopting these programs, schools aren’t just contributing to the future cybersecurity workforce at large. They could also be training the future employees who will keep the bevy of sensitive data now stored by schools and districts on on-site servers or in the cloud.

But in the broader sense, cybersecurity programs serve a demand for more career and technical education (CTE) opportunities that prepare students who may not have the option of attending college for high-demand career fields. As an added bonus, they provide college credit to those who plan on continuing at a postsecondary education or those who might do so later on.

Read the full article for more information.

Known as the Kirwan Commission because it is chaired by former University System Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, the Commission on Innovation and Excellence is charged with reviewing and assessing current education financing formulas and accountability measures. The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan (Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives)

Developing a world-class CTE program in Maryland has become a major point of emphasis for the Kirwan Commission, so much so that it has assigned a workgroup to develop CTE pathways that lead directly into aligned postsecondary technical degrees as well as industry credentials. The Commission has also discussed creating a communications plan to dispel the notion that CTE programs are only meant for students who do not excel in traditional academic subjects.

You can learn more about the Kirwan Commission, as well as its plans for improving CTE programs in Maryland, by attending the 2018 MACo Summer Conference.

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

Description: The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Expanding Pre-K Comes with “Staggering” Price Tag

Expanding high-quality pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds and low-income three-year-olds is a hallmark of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education’s preliminary report. The Early Childhood Education workgroup, one of four workgroups tasked with costing out the Commission’s preliminary recommendations, today released initial cost estimates for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K in Maryland — and the numbers are staggering.

Cost of Expanding Pre-K in Maryland

According to the education consulting firm Augenblick, Palaich, And Associates (APA) and the Maryland State Department of Education, expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K to low income (300% FPL) four-year-olds would cost approximately $230 million in 2019.

By 2024, the cost for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K to low-income (300% FPL) four-year-olds jumps to approximately $456 million.

Notably, while the Commission’s preliminary report calls for expanding pre-K to all four-year-olds, these estimates only account for low-income four-year-olds.

The cost of expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K to all low-income (300% FPL) three-year-olds would cost approximately $456 million.

One Commissioner called the numbers “staggering,” while others questioned whether the State should include the cost of high-quality pre-K as part of its compensatory program. The compensatory program is designed to provide extra support to students coming from backgrounds of poverty. For every student who qualifies for Free and Reduced Price Meals, school systems receive an amount equal to 97% of their per-pupil foundation amount.

As Maryland expands pre-kindergarten for young children in the state, building the capacity of the early childhood education (ECE) workforce will be a key issue. The workgroup plans to review the current requirements for ECE educators before presenting their final recommendations to the full Commission.

Judy Centers/Early Childhood Development Centers

Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers, known as “Judy Centers,” offer a wide range of services for low-income children and their families. Maryland’s Network of 25 Family Support Centers provide free, comprehensive services to families, targeting parents and their young children.

The Early Childhood Education workgroup will recommend expanding Judy Centers and Family Support Centers to provide and coordinate access to education and support services for at-risk young children ages 0-5 and their families. The plan calls for the expansion of Judy Centers to be phased in over ten years, with the neediest communities receiving the highest priority.

MSDE will be required to consider geographic diversity when selecting a Title I school to locate a new Judy Center and coordinate placement of new Judy Centers in order to serve multiple Title I schools in a high needs area or region.

Like Judy Centers, the expansion of Family Support Centers will be phased in over ten years, with priority in opening new Family Support Centers going to on the most underserved neediest communities.

MSDE will be required to consider geographic diversity when selecting regions to locate a new Family Support Center and coordinate placement of new Family Support Centers in order to serve multiple, adjacent counties or areas in need of a Family Support Center. Currently, nine counties (Calvert, Charles, Garrett, Harford, Howard, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester) do not have a Family Support Center.

The workgroup’s plan calls on the State to open three new centers a year so that by FY2029, there will be 30 new Family Support Centers.

The Commission’s four working groups will continue working to develop a consensus on the design, implementation plan, and cost for each of the preliminary recommendations. Once the working groups have completed their work, they will present their recommendations and cost estimates to the full Commission. The chair will work with staff and consultants to develop a draft cost estimate based on the recommendations of the working groups (as considered by the full Commission) for the full Commission’s consideration.

The 2016 Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was created by legislation introduced in the General Assembly. The Commission membership parallels that of the earlier Thornton Commission.

The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

MACo is entitled to two representatives on the Commission, under the legislation. Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Chair, and Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Vice Chair, represent MACo on the Commission.

The Commission’s next meeting will be held on Friday, July 13, 2018; 9:30 am-5:30 pm, at 120 House Office Building (House Appropriations Committee Room), 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Maryland.

Materials from today’s meeting are available on the Department of Legislative Services website, and meetings viewable online by searching the House Appropriations Committee room on the dates of each meeting.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

2017 Preliminary Report

Previous Conduit Street Coverage

The Commission is expected to complete its work in time for the 2019 session of the General Assembly, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, attend this general session to learn how county governments could be affected by the Commission’s final report.

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

Description: The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

 

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0 at #MACoCon

Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan (Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives)

Known as the Kirwan Commission because it is chaired by former University System Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, the Commission on Innovation and Excellence is charged with reviewing and assessing current education financing formulas and accountability measures. The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

The Commission is expected to complete its work in time for the 2019 session of the General Assembly, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, attend this general session to learn how county governments could be affected by the Commission’s final report.

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

Description: The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

2019 Brings 7.2% Increase State Aid for County, Municipal Governments

The Department of Legislative Services publication, Effect of the 2018 Legislative Program on the Financial Condition of the State, shows a 7.2% increase in state aid for the “county/municipal” category for fiscal year 2019 as compared with the prior year.

This month the Department of Legislative Services published its review of the 2018 General Assembly Session and the effect of the legislation passed on the fiscal condition of the State of Maryland. The report includes a high-level analysis of the changes in funding to county governments and other local government entities. Subchapters in Chapter 4. Local Government include:

  • State Aid to Local Governments
  • Summary of State Mandates
  • Legislation Affecting Local Government Revenues
  • Legislation Affecting Local Government Expenditures

There is a breakdown of the legislative appropriation for the “county/municipal” category, which includes the municipal share of police aid, highway user revenue, and fire aid.

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County/municipal aid, which includes highway user revenues, increases for fiscal year 2019.

Direct state aid for the fiscal 2019 year in the county/municipal category is $741,783, according to the Department. This is an increase from fiscal year 2018, but still only represents less than 10% of total state aid for local governments. As may be seen in the chart below, most of the State’s aid to local governments is provided to public education programs.

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County-municipal aid represents a fraction of aid provided to other local sources.

For more information, see Chapter 4 of the Effect of the 2018 Legislative Program on the Financial Condition of the State.