The Blueprint ensures every child in Maryland gets the education they deserve
We are writing to share a disappointing, but hopefully temporary, setback: Governor Hogan has decided to veto the bipartisan Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. This historic piece of legislation passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House of Delegates (96-38) and the Senate (37-9) and had responsible safeguards put in place to protect our budget against downturns in the economy.
Now more than ever, students, families, and communities need the support and investment offered by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future bill. The Blueprint implements a series of important reforms that benefit our children’s education, health and well-being, and the state’s economy. Some of the benefits of the legislation include:
- Investing in early childhood education by expanding full-day Pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds.
- Transforming teaching into a high-status profession with increased preparation and benchmark salaries.
- Expanding college and career pathways including career and technical education opportunities.
- Fixing our regressive funding formula by providing extra support for students living in poverty and interventions for struggling students, including students with disabilities, before achievement gaps grow.
- Adding a new accountability board to ensure the reforms are carried out with fidelity.
The state of Maryland must remain committed to the goal of eliminating inequities and building an education system that works for all kids, families, and educators over the long term. This virus magnified the extreme disparities that exist in Maryland, including in our schools. The Blueprint was designed to close these disparities and eliminate the achievement gap. We can’t let this veto send a message that our kids’ future is not a priority for the state of Maryland.
Legislators wisely built in a pause button into the Blueprint in the event of an extreme economic downturn. This pause button would slow implementation allowing the economy to recover before further funding ramps up. The Blueprint takes a measured, cautious fiscal approach while implementing the supports that we know all of our students need.
Now is the time for our leaders to ensure that Maryland will build the system we need not only to recover from this virus but to provide enhanced opportunities for all students, eliminate racial achievement gaps, and rebuild a strong economy for all Marylanders.