Workgroup for State Funding Formulas Named

A core group of 13 people will meet over the next several months to recommend new state funding formulas for K-12 public schools.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) announced the 13-member Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup on Wednesday.

The panel will be tasked with making funding formula recommendations before the 2020 legislative session, including on the split between state and local education funding, prioritizing the order of funding for recommendations of the Kirwan Commission and recommendations for specific funding formulas for some of the specific policies recommended by the commission.

The Kirwan Commission – or, more formally, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – has met since late 2016 to re-envision Maryland public schools and make policy recommendations to lawmakers.

The first batch of recommendations – and initial funding for them – was passed by lawmakers earlier this year, and allowed to become law without the signature of Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), who has expressed concerns about the cost of the policy recommendations.

The bill, as passed by the legislature, aims for more than $725 million in expanded funding in 2021 and 2022, with an additional $130 million contingent upon revenue legislation. Policy recommendations of the Kirwan Commission are expected to reach an additional cost of up to $3.8 billion annually.

The workgroup will take a more comprehensive look at funding formulas, which the commission ran out of time to finalize before then 2019 legislative session.

“I am grateful that leaders from the executive branch, the legislative branch, and leaders in the education and non-profit world are committed to finding a path forward on this monumental task,” Miller said in a statement.

Jones, who has been a member of the Kirwan Commission for the past two years, said leaders can’t underestimate the impact the policy and funding recommendations will have on the children of the state.

“We have a solid set of policy recommendations and we are asking this esteemed group to work out the details for funding before the next legislative session. The law that we passed this year is an important step forward but we need full implementation to ensure our students are competitive nationally and globally,” Jones said in a statement.

The members of the workgroup are:

  • William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chairman of the Kirwan Commission and former chancellor of the University System of Maryland
  • Harford County Executive Barry Glassman
  • Former senator Joan Carter Conway, who chaired the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
  • Matt Gallagher, president of the Goldseker Foundation and former chief of staff to Gov. Martin O’Malley
  • Sean Johnson, assistant executive director of the Maryland State Educators Association
  • Richard Madaleno, Montgomery County’s budget director and former vice chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee
  • Alvin Thornton, chairman of the Prince George’s County Board of Education
  • Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee
  • Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), vice chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee
  • Eloise Foster, former Maryland budget secretary
  • Cheryl Pasteur, former principal and member of the Baltimore County Board of Education
  • Monique Davis, assistant superintendent for Anne Arundel County Public Schools and former deputy superintendent for Prince George’s County Public Schools
  • Budget Secretary David Brinkley, appointee for Hogan

The workgroup is expected to make recommendations to the full Kirwan Commission by Nov. 1.

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