ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday laid out an education agenda for next year that includes a system for turning over management of poorly-performing schools to parents and advocates of the children who attend them.
The Community and Local Accountability for Struggling Schools (CLASS) Act, based on a similar model from Massachusetts, is designed to increase accountability for under-performing schools, Hogan’s office said.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.5K New Cases Reported, Positivity Rate Down
Under the plan, which the governor plans to introduce at the start of the 2020 legislative session, schools that receive a one-star rating for two consecutive years would be classified as “Innovation Schools.” Local school boards would then establish a committee tasked with creating curriculum, budgetary and staffing changes in an effort to boost the schools’ ratings.
“There was a proposal several years ago about the state takeover of these schools,” Hogan said. “We thought it was much more important for the parents, the members of the community, those teachers, those in that exact community who really are passionate, who know the problems and want to fix the schools, they’re the ones who have been frustrated and their kids are the ones that have been cheated so we think they should have more of a role in their future.
In the state’s latest school report card released earlier this week, 24 schools received one-star ratings.Maryland Lawmakers Override Vetoes On Sweeping Police Reform Measures
Hogan also reiterated his position that more funding does not necessarily equate to better results as the Kirwan Commission pushes for a $32 billion increase in school funding.
“The simple question which nobody has been able to answer up to this point is what taxes are they going to raise at the state and county level, who is it that they’re going to tax and by how much,” the governor said.
Hogan called his plan for education funding historic: 64 percent of the state’s capital budget, with $32 billion going to K-12 education and $4.4 billion coming in from casino revenue.
The governor also plans to re-introduce a bill that would provide $3.8 billion for school construction funding over five years.MORE NEWS: Baltimore County Police Investigating Fatal Pedestrian-Involved Crash In White Marsh
House Speaker Adrienne Jones and incoming Senate President Bill Ferguson each issued a statement expressing optimism about finding common ground on education issues next session.