Jim Shea Releases Comprehensive Education Plan for Maryland

Monday, November 13, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
press@jimshea.com

Shea Highlights the Need for A Pre-K to College and Career Training Pipeline Plan Cites Hogan’s Chronic Underfunding of Public Education

BALTIMORE, MD (November 13, 2017) – Today, Jim Shea released his comprehensive education plan, calling for a revamped approach to education in Maryland – from early childhood education through college and career training. Emphasizing the importance of public education for Maryland families and the economy, this plan is the first in a series of policy proposals that the Shea for Maryland campaign will release in the coming months.

“Education is my top priority because it expands opportunity and reduces inequality by providing children with the tools they need to realize their full potential,” said Jim Shea, former Chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland. “Maryland needs a world class education system, from pre-k through higher education, to improve lives, broaden opportunity, and drive economic growth.”

On Governor Hogan’s watch, Maryland’s education rankings have declined and Maryland students’ scores have fallen to the middle of the pack on critical tests. These poor results are predictable given the Governor’s failure to invest in education. His first budget, for example, failed to fund fully the Geographical Cost of Education Index, which allocates money to account for higher education costs in certain jurisdictions. He has maintained the inflationary index cap, limiting funds to education, despite a growing economy and increased state tax revenue, and also diverted public funds from public schools to vouchers. He has even failed to increase education funding to match the rate of growth of the State’s General Fund.

“Under Governor Hogan, we are moving in the wrong direction. Maryland is not ‘Open for Business’ — it is slamming the doors of opportunity and upward mobility. This backwards slide is a ticking time bomb that will devastate a generation of Maryland children and hobble our economy for years to come. As governor, I will turn our public education system around,” said Shea.

Shea’s plan includes initiatives like:

  • Universal early childhood education programs to prepare all children to learn and grade level from the outset of their formal educations.
  • Increased support of programs to assist economically and educationally disadvantaged students. • A rigorous and updated curriculum benchmarked against international standards, along with a system of accountability that meets federal standards while also ending our over-reliance on high-stakes testing.
  • Programs to assure that we have highly effective and well-compensated educators and school leaders operating in a system that provides a structure for professional development.
  • A post-secondary education system that encourages and facilitates life-long learning, including vocational and professional training, to give students the knowledge and skills they need to compete for well-paying jobs.
  • An adequate and equitable funding formula so school system and public education institutions have their resources they need without regard to the relative wealth of particular communities.

Recognizing that progress costs money, Shea pledges to lift the cap on the inflationary index and fund education at a higher rate than the state’s general fund growth, while ensuring that the system runs efficiently and effectively.

“As the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, Maryland must invest in education. Providing opportunity to all of Maryland’s children and strengthening Maryland’s economy will improve the quality of life for all Maryland’s citizens. That’s exactly what I will do as Governor and that’s why education will be my highest priority,” said Shea.

Jim Shea, a Democratic candidate for governor, is the former Chair of Venable LLP, the largest law firm in the state of Maryland. He is also the former Chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, the Empower Baltimore Management Corporation, and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

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