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Dems Gathering Supporters to Press Hogan on Kirwan Plan

Ahead of a meeting to consider education funding changes, the Maryland Democratic Party is calling on Democrats to demand greater support for the plan from Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.

A Wednesday night email blast from the Maryland Dems asked supporters to sign a petition in favor of the Kirwan Commission, which has recently come under fire from Hogan and some other officials for estimated costs.

“The legislature and the Commission have put together a comprehensive plan that would get our schools what they need, but Governor Hogan has dug in his heels,” the email said.

The Kirwan Commission has recommended broad educational reform changes in Maryland, including expanded pre-kindergarten and technical education, increases to teacher salaries, and additional supports for low-income communities and schools. The recommendations are estimated to cost up to $3.8 billion more a year once fully implemented.

A workgroup is tasked with drawing up funding formulas to determine how the state and counties should pay for the additional programs.

Hogan’s Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R), both members of the workgroup, have raised concerns about the costs and suggested scaling back parts of the proposal or delaying implementation. Hogan has publicly agreed, criticizing the pace of decision-making by the workgroup.

The panel is meeting in Annapolis on Thursday to discuss teacher pension costs and a proposal to increase teacher salaries, one of the largest components of the proposed reform costs. The panel is scheduled to meet for about 90 minutes before adjourning to a closed session.

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Dems Gathering Supporters to Press Hogan on Kirwan Plan