Today, in front of a joint hearing of the Maryland General Assembly, County Executive Calvin Ball testified in support of legislation to implement the Kirwan Commission recommendations, Senate Bill 1000 and House Bill 1300. The joint hearing included the following committees: Budget and Taxation, Educational, Health and Environmental Affairs, Appropriations and Ways and Means. The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education is a multi-year initiative to research and develop major funding and policy reforms to improve the quality of Maryland’s public education system to benefit all of the more than 790,000 students, which will in turn benefit the State’s economy and quality of life for all Marylanders. Ball’s written testimony can be read here.

“In order of us to maintain Howard County’s public school system’s highest standards of excellence, while also lifting the education of all children throughout our state, we must invest in our students,” said Ball. “I appreciate state leaders providing resources that better enables local jurisdictions to invest in improving student outcomes, retention and salaries of our valued educators, and school system accountability. With the Kirwan recommendations, we will ensure that our state maintains the highest quality of education for every child while benefiting our state’s economy, health, and quality of life.”

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This should not be a surprise to most people following the Kirwan legislation. It has been reported that “For now, Carroll and Howard counties wouldn’t have to pay an increase. Howard County, for example, has spent more to support education than required under state law and would not have to pay more”.

This is not the case for many other large jurisdictions in Maryland. For example it is being reported that by 2030 the following local increases in annual funding would be required if this legislation passes:

  • Prince George’s County: $360.9 million
  • Baltimore City: $329.4 million
  • Anne Arundel County: $98.8 million
  • Baltimore County: $88.4 million
  • Harford County: $9.2 million

(sources: WBAL and Maryland Matters)

Governor Hogan is WAY on the other side and fully against this legislation…posting this just a few hours ago:

Today, the legislature is holding hearings to ram through the Kirwan Tax Hike Commission’s mandated $33 billion in spending. After three years and over 70 meetings, the legislature nor their commission has any plan whatsoever on how to pay for these massive spending proposals.

These reckless and irresponsible spending proposals would require billions more in state and local taxes and create a gaping $18.7 billion deficit.

Contact your legislators and tell them no massive tax hikes or budget deficits: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Members/District

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I think we all want more funding for education. The question is…is this the best legislation to obtain that funding for all jurisdictions in Maryland?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Scott E