ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland wants to give all its students the best opportunities possible, but funding has not kept pace according to the Kirwan Commission, which voted Tuesday to ramp up education funding and the quality of education.
Baltimore Delegate Maggie McIntosh is on the commission.
“Where we had concentrations of poverty, poor children, those counties kept falling further and further behind,” McIntosh said.
Members of the commission approved recommendations to send to the General Assembly.
The commission proposes $3.8 billion for education phased in over 10 years and pays for free Pre-K, improves college prep and career-ready standards to meet the demands of a high tech economy, and provides education oversight, among other improvements.
“Right now we are falling behind, “McIntosh said. ” If we do nothing it will be a catastrophe for our students and young people in our state in terms of being prepared for the new economy. so this is going to get them prepared.”
But Governor Larry Hogan is locking horns with legislators over this one, stating “No governor has ever invested more in our schools.”
In a statement, Gov. Hogan said while education is his top priority, the proposal is “reckless”:
“I have tremendous respect for Dr. Kirwan and have supported many of his well-meaning recommendations, some of which can be phased in over the next several years. Unfortunately, the Kirwan Tax Hike Commission is hellbent on spending billions more than we can afford, and legislators are refusing to come clean about where the money is going to come from. Even after more than three years of meetings, there is still no clear plan whatsoever for how either the state or the counties will pay this massive price tag.”
McIntosh, however, disagrees.
“It is not going to break the bank,” she said. “Matter of fact, I would say to you that what I think will break the bank in Maryland is for kids to fall further and further behind nationally and further and further behind in comparison to other states.”
Some local districts are expected to pay a bigger share.
This will be one of two school-related bills the House will take up as first orders of business in January.