Jim's Plan for

Education in Maryland

Education is the surest ladder of opportunity as it provides children the tools they need to succeed in life and to realize their full potential.  Maryland needs a world class education system, from pre-k through higher education, that will improve lives, broaden opportunity, and drive economic development. Under Governor Hogan, we have moved in the opposite direction. Maryland is not “Open for Business” — it is slamming the doors of opportunity and upward mobility. We must reverse this downward slide, and that is what I will do as Governor. Education will be my top priority.

On Governor Hogan’s watch, Maryland’s education rankings have declined and Maryland students’ scores fall in 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.

My priorities as Governor will be radically different. I will create a program for universal access to pre-k, because educational inequality cements itself before children set foot in the classroom. I will devote resources to programs that assist disadvantaged students, like community schools and after-school programs. I will work to develop a rigorous curriculum that is benchmarked against international standards and ends our reliance on high-stakes testing. I will create a funding system that treats and compensates Maryland’s educators like the professionals that they are, and provides them with the working conditions and support they need to do their jobs. Finally, I will devise an improved post-secondary education system so that our students are fully prepared to go to college or start a career.

There is a price tag for these initiatives, but we have the resources we need to properly fund education. We must have the wisdom and courage to invest in the short-term to reap the benefits in the long-term. Failing to invest in education will impose far greater and steeper costs in terms of stunted lives, stifled opportunity, and a crippled state economy. We must begin by undoing the damage of Governor Hogan’s chronic underfunding of education. My first budget will lift the inflationary cap, and I will propose an increase in funding for K-12 education that at least matches the projected growth of the State’s General Fund budget. My first legislative package will include proposals to implement the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, some of which no doubt will involve funding.

To prepare Maryland’s students to succeed in the 21st century, we must build a world class education system. With my experience as Chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland and in business, I know how to achieve that goal.

Maryland Students Deserve An Outstanding Education

Maryland needs, but currently does not have, a world class public education system. We jeopardize our citizens’ and our state’s future if we fail to get to work immediately on building the education system we need. As Governor, that is what I will do. Education will be my highest priority.

Unless we immediately address the weaknesses in our education system, we are going to be left behind. Under Maryland’s current Governor, we are moving in exactly the wrong direction. I have a plan to build a dramatically improved system, a plan which addresses early childhood education, K-12, affordable quality community college, vocational training, and four-year higher education. Specific objectives of my plan include:

  • Universal early childhood education programs to prepare all children to learn at 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 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 systems and public education institutions have the resources they need without regard to the relative wealth of particular communities.

We must accomplish these ambitious objectives because we live in a world in which anything less than an excellent education system will not prepare our citizens to compete in a highly competitive world. Everyone in our state – from the youngest preschoolers to adults pursuing college and vocational training – should have access to the highest quality education. Education provides the surest path to opportunity and upward mobility and is our single most important public undertaking to compensate for the inherent inequities of birth. Providing a world class education is a right for all, not a privilege reserved for the few. Making that right a reality is the socially and morally responsible thing to do and in our collective self-interest.

An education system that develops the full potential of all our citizens will produce and attract quality employers to our state and generate quality jobs for our citizens. An education system that delivers outstanding results will produce for our state leaders in business, science, medicine, arts, civic affairs, and other fields. These leaders will help the state to have the standard of living and cultural richness we want and deserve.

Despite the obvious imperative of education to our state’s future, Governor Hogan is entirely without conviction when it comes to the subject. His actions confirm this. Governor Hogan has drastically underfunded schools, proposing budgets that fund education below the rate of inflation and below the growth of the state general revenue fund. He has hidden behind flawed and discredited funding formulas. He has cut and capped much-needed inflation and cost of living adjustments. He has adopted the failed education policies of Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump by diverting state funds to non-public schools. And rather than investing in our students and their futures, he is focused on altering school start dates and appointing ideologues to the State School Board who are hostile to public education.

Governor Hogan’s misguided actions have produced predictably bad results. During his tenure, Maryland’s once pre-eminent system has slipped into the middle of the pack nationally. Of equal significance, we are falling far behind the other countries with which we are competing today and with which we will compete for decades to come. If not reversed, these trends portend economic disaster for the prospects for today’s students, for many Maryland families, and for the state’s overall well-being. The future strength of our state is tied inextricably to the strength of our system of public education. A mediocre education system – Governor Hogan’s legacy – weakens our state.

In sharp contrast to Governor Hogan, I will lead the effort to build in Maryland an education system on par with the world’s best. That is the way for Marylanders to flourish. While some of this can be accomplished by managing costs and using current funds more efficiently and strategically, those steps, without more, will not suffice. Additional funding is needed, particularly to recover the significant ground lost under Governor Hogan. I will phase in this increase in funding, but start with proposing budget that fund education at the rate of inflation at a rate that at least meets General Fund growth. These investments will deliver new and better opportunities for a broader group of Maryland citizens, increased tax revenues from having more workers working in higher paying jobs, and savings in public funds by reducing costs in areas such as social services.

We want our state to thrive. For the state and its people to do so, we must choose – and choose now – to make education our highest priority. The quality of life, fairness, and prosperity of our state depends on our reversing the serious erosion in education which has occurred under Governor Hogan, and getting to work immediately on building a world class education system. I am running for Governor to lead this effort.

Governor Hogan Has Failed Maryland’s Students

Governor Hogan’s education policy vision is both exceedingly narrow and counterproductive. Ordering that schools not start until after Labor Day, for example, does nothing to improve educational outcomes. Tellingly, Governor Hogan showed his lack of commitment to education in his very first year in office when he ignored settled state policy and declined to fund the Geographical Cost of Education Index (GCEI), which allocates more money to school districts where the costs of educating children are higher.1 In response, The General Assembly passed a law compelling Governor Hogan to reverse course and fund the GCEI.2 Similarly, and notwithstanding steadily improving economic conditions, Governor Hogan has proposed eliminating the inflation factor, while also diverting funds intended to go to public schools to a voucher program.3


Governor Hogan’s refusal to prioritize education has real negative consequences. In 2017, for example, after Governor Hogan proposed cutting state aid to Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) by $42 million, BCPS was forced to lay off 300 staff, including almost 75 classroom teachers in core subject areas.10 This reduction in teachers significantly constrained the school system’s ability to provide children with an adequate education. Instead of proactively working with key stakeholders, including teachers, parents, the local jurisdiction, and the General Assembly, to fix problems in the City school system, Governor Hogan hides behind a broken funding formula. That is not leadership.

As the state’s chief executive, Governor Hogan is accountable for the educational outcomes in our state. Here, again, he is failing and children are losing. Under Governor Hogan’s watch, Maryland’s K-12 ranking has slipped.11 On critical school tests, Maryland students are scoring in the second and third quartile in the country.12 When the best school systems in the United States compare unfavorably to the best systems in the world, scoring in the second and third quartile nationally is unacceptable. The results in the core subjects of English and math are particularly discouraging. In those areas, fewer than half of Maryland’s students are able to pass standardized tests.13 All of these poor results are the predictable “reap what you sow” products of Governor Hogan’s failure to make public education a priority.

Maryland’s slipping national education performance means we are falling even further behind when compared to our global competitors. Those competitors are the graduates of educational systems in China, Japan, Singapore, Germany, and more. Maryland students scoring in the middle of the pack would be unacceptable even if their only competition were the other 49 states. The competitive field, however, is far larger than just 49 other states. It is the entire world. The students of today and tomorrow will live and work in a global competitive marketplace in which the educated citizenry of every country in the world are competing for the good jobs which pay good and growing wages. The anti-education policies of Governor Hogan have degraded our state’s education system. A continuation of those policies over another four years risks putting Maryland’s system of public education on an irreversible downward trajectory. To protect our future and that of our children, we must reverse that trajectory and replace Governor Hogan.

We Can Create An Excellent System Of Public Education

Fortunately, we are not condemned to mediocrity in education and to the negative consequences which necessarily flow from such mediocrity. If we choose to do so, we can develop an outstanding education system. Massachusetts is a model we should follow. Several decades ago, Massachusetts set out to excel in education and, as a result, its students today score in the top five in international (global) comparisons. The strength of the educational system in Massachusetts has, in turn, produced a vibrant economy. We can do the same.

The goal of my education plan is to assure that our state will provide a world class system of education. I will not be satisfied, nor should any Maryland citizen be satisfied, until everyone in our state who wants further education, vocational training, or retraining receives it without regard to present ability to pay. High school graduates need to be headed either to further education or to a job. In either case, they need to be prepared to succeed. Tragically, our state’s system today is not meeting that minimal threshold. Under my administration, high schools will produce college-ready or career-ready graduates. I will see that community colleges align their programs with the needs of Maryland’s businesses. Those graduating with an Associate’s Degree will be qualified for fulfilling high-paying work. We need apprenticeship programs to introduce new workers to the labor force and to retrain displaced workers for new jobs.

This is more than just a typical policy plan, however. I have the real-world leadership experience to accomplish this plan and to transform our state’s educational system. First, I have the executive business experience to drive change. I directed the growth of what is now Maryland’s largest law firm, an organization that competes successfully in the global economy every day. Second, I have hands on experience in education as Chair of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents. As Chair, I oversaw the state’s public universities as they increased access to college to more students of all backgrounds, improved quality, and expanded their research facilities. I fought successfully to keep higher education affordable and to improve quality.


I have the real-world experience of creating change, particularly in the area of education, that leads to valuable results. As governor, I will do the same, and push for the following improvements to our public education system:

A. Early Childhood Development Is The Foundation For Success

Children need to start out healthy to have a fair chance in education and in life. A child’s development begins before he or she is born. My administration will work to ensure that all mothers have access to prenatal care. In recent years, 32% of Maryland’s expectant mothers did not receive prenatal care in their first trimester, and almost 10% did not receive any prenatal care until their third trimester or at all.14 These percentages are even higher for minority and young mothers. This is morally wrong and, ultimately, economically and socially destructive. As Governor, I will support and expand programs like B’more for Healthy Babies, which strives to ensure that babies are born healthy and ready to thrive.

We must also expand access to early childhood education. Other countries have policies to address the reality that educational inequity often cements itself before a child sets foot in school. We need to act likewise. We need programs which provide earlier and more effective interventions. The National Institute for Early Educational Research’s 2016 State of Preschool report ranked Maryland 13th in the country in the percent of 3-year olds who attend preschool, 16th in the country in the percent of 4-year olds who attend preschool, and 33rd in the country in state spending on preschool.15

This is a recipe for failure given how poorly the United States performs when compared to its competitors. The United States ranked in the bottom half in i) preschool participation for 4-year olds, ii) preschool participation for 3-year olds, iii) the average age that children begin early-childhood educational programs, and iv) total investment in early childhood education relative to country wealth.16


B. Additional Support For Economically Disadvantaged Students Is A Necessity

Thoughtful and proactive education policies, supported with the necessary funding, are especially critical to maximize opportunities for economically disadvantaged students. Currently, a child’s zip code is predictive of educational attainment and future income, as children who are born in wealthier zip codes are more likely to go to college and earn higher incomes.

This undeniable structural inequality puts the American Dream beyond the reach of too many Maryland children. I will demand a funding formula that accounts for concentrated poverty. In addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged students, as elsewhere, simply pouring more money in without accountability is not the answer. I will hold programs accountable for measurable results and I will hold the school districts accountable to ensure that the money is being spent on proven and effective programs.

The fact is that it costs more to educate children from low-income communities than it does to educate children from higher income communities. Areas generating additional expenses include transportation, health care, and support services. In addition, the children in schools in lower income communities often lack an adequate educational foundation because their families could not afford pre-schools and other enrichment programs. Failing to account for concentrated poverty in Maryland’s funding formula results in schools with low-income students being unable to provide a quality education to their students, thereby perpetuating inequality for another generation.

We need to expand after-school and summer programs to help Maryland’s underserved students reach their academic potential. Studies show that the lack of learning opportunities outside of the school setting, particularly during the extended summer break, is the cause of up to 66% of the achievement gap between students in low-income and high-income communities21. Extra instruction will help economically disadvantaged children catch up to their peers. This will avoid the necessity of teachers’ spending valuable class time filling gaps, allowing for more productive instruction of all students.


After-school and summer programs in Maryland are proven to increase grade level reading and writing scores. The BELL Program, for example, which partners with schools and non-profits, offers educational after school programs for students in pre-k through 8th grade. In 2017, nearly 2,000 Baltimore City students from 14 Title I schools (serving disadvantaged students in high-poverty areas) attended BELL’s free summer program. In just five weeks, K-5 students on average gained two months of reading skills and middle schoolers gained three months of math skills. In addition, 96% of teachers reported seeing an increase in self-confidence, and 96% of parents reported increased involvement in their child’s education.22 Results were similar in BELL’s Montgomery County program. However, and notwithstanding this record of success, BELL is forced to turn away many students who would benefit from their programs because of limited funding.

Governor Hogan is on the wrong side of these issues. His education budget eliminated about 20 of these programs, cutting services to 1,000 Baltimore students.23 Likewise, the FY2018 budget for summer programming in Baltimore City has been reduced by over $250,000.24 As Governor, I will do the opposite. I will fund initiatives like BELL to expand after-school and summer programs to better educate our children, reduce education inequality, and close the achievement gap.

Community schools are a network of partnerships that provide students and families with a range of services to promote student achievement and personal well-being.

We also need to increase our commitment to community schools. Community schools are networks of partnerships between the host school and other community resource providers to promote student achievement as well as family and community well-being. Children who are hungry, or have a problem at home, or have not visited a doctor in years are less ready to learn than their peers. A recent study from Johns Hopkins concluded that simply providing disadvantaged students with eye glasses can close the reading gap.25 Community schools attack these problems by offering wrap-around services, including health care, eye care, and social services, in addition to more typical educational services. In 2018, largely due to Governor Hogan’s refusal to fund properly public education, the City of Baltimore will lose six of its community schools, negatively impacting about 3,400 families.26 Such defunding undermines education and is altogether counterproductive. Maryland needs to expand, not reduce the number of community schools. I commit to allocating the necessary funds to expand the use of community school coordinators by linking these funds to a larger strategy of accounting for concentrated poverty in the funding formula.

C. Maryland’s Instructional Systems And Curricula Must Be Updated

To be competitive in the 21st century, Maryland must implement a rigorous education program benchmarked against international standards. Under Governor Hogan, too many Maryland students are graduating without the skills they need to flourish in the economy and without the preparation to advance academically. We need an evidence-based system which identifies the knowledge and skills required for post-secondary education. This system will identify the gaps between what our students are learning and what they need to learn to succeed in four-year colleges and community colleges. It will identify pathways, without dead ends, that allow students to focus on desirable career paths with the flexibility to change paths or extend their education.

We need better and more creative ways to measure performance and to assure accountability. We must hold our schools and school districts accountable. To do so, we will develop a system that allows comparison. As Governor, I will work with stakeholders to develop a plan that meets federal requirements while ending our reliance high-stakes testing. My administration will create strategies to compare and hold school districts accountable while allowing our students to focus their time and energy on learning and growing. Currently, we rely too heavily on standardized tests. New, state-developed standards will require accountability to proven instructional methods, while eliminating the current over reliance on high-stakes standardized testing.

“Teaching to the test” is not the same as educating students. Our standardized testing culture leads to weeks of “teaching to the test” at the expense of meaningful learning time. Between kindergarten and 12th grade, a typical student takes 112 mandated standardized tests.27 Students are spending hundreds of hours per year preparing for and taking tests which, may teach them the ins and outs of how to take a test, but deadens their interest in learning and does not prepare them for further education or work readiness.

I will give special attention to math and science programs. Careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are growth areas and these jobs pay well above-average wages. Currently, however, students in the U.S. underperform in critical areas such as mathematics as compared to their international peers.28 As a state, we must invest in math and science education, starting in the youngest grades, so that Maryland students

D. Maryland Will Have The Most-Qualified Teachers And Principals

Significant changes to educational outcomes will not occur unless we invest in our teachers and give them the support they need. This means i) improving the salaries of educators, ii) improving working conditions for teachers, including increased opportunities for professional growth and advancement and increased opportunities for greater compensation without going into administration, iii) reducing class sizes, and iv) strengthening the teacher training process.

Maryland’s teachers are underpaid. The difference in income between teachers and comparable workers, the “teacher pay penalty,” is as bad as it has ever been. In 2015, US teachers made, on average, 17% less than comparable college-educated professionals. From 1996 to 2016, inflation adjusted wages for teachers decreased by $30 per week.29 We need to incentivize the best graduates to go into teaching, increase the competition for teaching jobs, and thereby improve the quality of the teacher applicant pool. Giving class room instructors a raise is a first step. The promise of a lifetime of competitive wages will bring the best and the brightest to the teaching profession.

In addition to substantially improving teacher compensation, we need to address teachers’ working conditions. This starts with making schools safe, clean, and adequately supplied and equipped. While those are minimally necessary requirements, they are not sufficient. Teachers also need professional development opportunities and time to engage in these opportunities. They need time to participate in professional organizations and meetings. They need time to plan lessons and to develop teaching materials. And they need to time to work with colleagues to review and improve teaching methods and to develop strategies for individual students whose needs are not being met. We want good teachers to remain in the classroom, not to drift away to other lines of work or to school administration because those are the only paths to increased compensation.

All of our teachers must be subject matter experts with the necessary skills to manage the classroom and teach the material. We need to develop measurable criteria to make these expectations a reality. I will expand effective teacher residency programs to give future teachers the hands-on learning opportunities and experience they need to be successful. I will work to pair every new teacher with an older and successful teacher who will serve as the new teacher’s mentor. This mentor will advise the new teacher on techniques and curriculum, while also giving support outside the classroom.

I will work to create a culture of continuous improvement. A teacher’s education, like that of any other professional, is just beginning at the point of initial certification. Our teachers must continually work to improve their skills and capacity, and they must be given the resources they need to grow. I will strive to implement a peer review system so teachers sit in on each other’s classes to give teachers being observed (particularly new teachers) the opportunity to receive feedback, to improve teaching methods, and, ultimately, to enhance student performance.

I also propose dedicating significant resources to hiring more teachers to decrease class sizes. Smaller classes provide children with the individual attention they need and reduce the burden on our teachers. Reducing class sizes correlates to a statistically significant and long-term improvement in educational outcomes, especially when the reduced class sizes are introduced in lower grades and in classes with low-income students.30 We must dedicate ourselves to limiting class sizes and lowering the pupil-teacher ratio so that each child receives the individual attention he or she needs. As of 2012, the average class size in Maryland was 22 students, with a significant percentage falling in the 36+ category.31 Further, we must hire additional paraeducators to reduce class sizes and provide individual attention to students who need it, along with more counselors, health care professionals, and pupil personnel workers.


Strong schools require strong leaders because strong school leadership correlates to improved student outcomes. The work of the school leader is to create the cohesive system. Maryland must put a highly qualified principal in every school. To do that, I will create a “principal pipeline” and new principals will be matched with the right school environment and improved standards that define the qualities and responsibilities necessary to be an effective school leader. Prospective principals will get the specialized training they will need to be effective. I will create a Principal’s Academy to ensure that when a new leader walks into a school, he or she will be comfortable and prepared to succeed. We will incorporate input from successful principals across the state. New principals (just like new teachers) need a support system of mentors and peers to succeed. I will work to create a mentorship program for newly minted principals.

E. 21st Century Jobs Require Excellent Vocational Education And Training

As Governor, I will ensure that Maryland students have access to excellent vocational training in high schools, community colleges, and specialized training and apprentice programs. We need to revamp our community college and apprenticeship programs so students will gain the skills they need to compete in the global economy. My background in business prepares me to partner with the business community to align the needs of businesses with the curricula in high schools, community colleges, and apprenticeship/technical programs. Graduates of these improved programs will have the skills to move directly into skilled positions which pay well.

Community colleges play a huge role in preparing students for further educational opportunities and for future employment. More than forty percent of undergraduate students in the United States attend community college.32 Students who earn a community college degree, rather than stopping at high school, earn nearly twenty percent more annually than those with only a high school diploma.33


I intend to focus on developing effective and affordable training programs for all Marylanders. I will work with businesses, unions, and non-profits from across the state to develop these programs. Many high school graduates do not want or need to go on to college; however, these students likely need supplemental training to have the skills necessary for a well-paying job. Likewise, many Maryland employees who want to keep working are finding that their positions have been displaced by automation and globalization. High school graduates and displaced workers deserve effective and affordable apprenticeship and retraining programs.

We have a wide variety of locations and settings in which to provide training and retraining programs. School facilities are available evenings and weekends, and community college facilities are well suited for these purposes. We need to work with employers to identify the types of skilled workers they need and anticipate needing and engage those employers with training professionals to develop and execute the appropriate programs. The strength and prosperity of our state, to say nothing of individual satisfaction and prosperity, depend upon fully developing the talents of our citizens. Given the speed with which our economy is changing, speed which will only increase in the years ahead, skills once needed are less marketable or not needed at all while new skills are in great demand. Training and retraining are needed so workers’ skills match employers’ needs.

F. Excellent Education Requires Fully Adequate Funding

Properly funding public education is expensive. In the long term, however, failing to fund education is far more expensive in lost productivity and underutilized human capital. Targeted increases to education funding will produce significant returns on investment. We cannot afford to continue to fail our students and, ultimately, ourselves and our state’s quality of life and economy, by having anything less than a world class education system.

A Northwestern University study found that a 10% increase in per-pupil funding is associated with a 7% increase in earnings when the student reaches the age of 40.34 The increase in salary for each student would be associated with an increase in income tax revenue of about $6,800 per student, totaling an estimated $162 million per year. The difference in weekly salary between those without a high school diploma, with a high school diploma, with an Associate’s degree, and with a Bachelor’s degree is stark. Those with a high school diploma earn, on average, 37% more than those without a high school degree; those with an Associate’s degree earn, on average, 17% more than those with a high school degree; and those with a Bachelor’s degree earn 43% more than those with an Associate’s degree.35 If we focus additional state public education funding on graduating high school students who are prepared to continue their academic careers, the quality of life for all Marylanders will increase and the state will generate additional tax revenue (both income and sales tax) far in excess of its investment in education.

The full multiplier effect of investing in education must also include the reduced costs which result from having a better-educated population. A 2012 study of high school dropouts in Maryland found that the state would save $160 million per year on incarceration and criminal justice if the state increased the graduation rate of male high schoolers by five percent.36 A 2008 study from the Columbia Teacher’s College estimated that, when accounting for the increase in income and sales taxes, and the decrease in health care, criminal justice, and safety net costs, a targeted and carefully orchestrated investment in public education is associated with a 250% return on investment.37

In order to appropriately fund public education, I will work with each of the 24 local education authorities to identify potential savings through joint purchasing and other mechanisms. In FY2014, school districts across the state spent about $12 billion on public education from federal, state, and local sources. About 18% of that spending went to non-classroom expenses, including materials, transportation, and energy.38

Saving five percent on these non-classroom costs through joint purchasing initiatives and other cost-saving options would free up about $110 million dollars per year. Over the course of a five-year period, the total savings would add up to over $500 million.

A Governor who truly prioritizes education must reflect this commitment in the budget. Given Governor Hogan’s record to date, it is almost impossible to imagine his taking any substantive action on the Kirwan Commission funding recommendations during the balance of his term in office. As such, Maryland’s next Governor will likely inherit the same flawed funding formula that is currently failing our public school students.

The Kirwan Commission will point the way for what we must do. Maryland must invest boldly in education. In large measure, this will be a matter of mustering the political will. We have met this challenge previously, however. In 2002, for example, when the state decided to fund the Thornton Plan (which created a new funding formula for state aid to Maryland’s 24 school districts), Maryland’s budget for education was $2.6 billion.39 The $1.7 billion Thornton program represented a 65.5% increase in education funding, as well as a 17.6% increase in state general fund spending. If, in 2018, we commit to a similar increase in education funding based on the findings of the Kirwan Commission, the new $1.5 billion investment will increase the state education budget by 26.5% and will represent an 8.7% increase in state spending.40

While finding the dollars needed for education will not be easy, it is attainable if we commit to a plan and phase it in over five years. Currently, however, we are falling behind. During the past three years, Governor Hogan has failed to increase education funding at the same rate as general fund growth. Had he done so, the State would have provided local jurisdictions with $360 million in additional funding. Over a five-year period, that number would grow to about $600 million.

Fully funding a new effective public education system will take time and, again, political will. If, however, we commit fully to a bold plan to have an education system rivalling the best in the world, the benefits to our children and our state will be enormous and more than justified. Consistent with my commitment to make Maryland the best in education, in January 2019, in my first budget, I will i) lift the inflationary cap that has done so much damage to public education financing and student outcomes, ii) propose an increase in K-12 education funding that at least matches the projected growth of the State’s General Fund budget, and iii) introduce legislation to adopt and implement the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.


A World-Class Education System Is Achievable

Education will be my first priority as Governor. Each day in office, I will press for an answer to the question of what have we as an administration done that day to build a better, stronger, world class education system. While our 21st century knowledge-based economy demands no less, we are currently going in the opposite direction. If we do not act now to reverse that direction, we will deny our citizens the tools they need to compete, and we will deny all Marylanders the kind of state we want and are capable of being.

I understand what needs to be done and I have the background in leadership positions, in education and in business, to accomplish this truly important job for our state and its people. With your support and a strongly shared commitment to the value of education, we can make Maryland’s public education system the standard against which all other systems are measured


1 Cox, Erin. “Hogan Funds Pensions, But Nothing More For Schools.” Baltimore Sun. 15, May 2015. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hogan-announcement-20150514-story.html

2 SB0183. “Education – Geographical Cost of Education – Requirement.” Maryland State Legislature. 2015 Legislative Session. http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=01&id=sb0183&tab=subject3&ys=2015RS

3 Wood, Pamela. “Hogan Proposes To Boost Funding For Private School Scholarships.” Baltimore Sun. 13, December 2016. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hogan-boost-funding-20161213-story.html

4 Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Maryland Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget. 2015.

5 Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Maryland Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget. 2016.

6 Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Maryland Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget. 2017.

7 Hogan Jr., Lawrence J. “Maryland Budget Highlights FY2016.” Maryland Department of Budget and Management. 2015. http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/budget/Documents/operbudget/2016/highlights.pdf

8 Hogan Jr., Lawrence J. “Maryland Budget Highlights FY2017.” Maryland Department of Budget and Management. 2016. http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/budget/Documents/operbudget/2017/2017Highlights.pdf

9 Hogan Jr., Lawrence J. “Maryland Budget Highlights FY2018.” Maryland Department of Budget and Management. 2017. http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/budget/Documents/operbudget/2017/2017Highlights.pdf

10 Prudente, Tim. “Baltimore Schools Chief Proposes Up To 300 Layoffs To Balance District Budget.” Baltimore Sun. 12, May 2017. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/k-12/bs-md-ci-city-schools-layoffs-20170512-story.html

11 Bowie, Liz. “Maryland Public Schools Rank Fifth In The Nation.” Baltimore Sun. 4, January 2017. http://www.baltimoresun.com/bs-md-maryland-school-ranking-2-20170103-story.html

12 “Best States: Maryland” US News and World Report. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/maryland

13 Bowie, Liz and Prutente, Tim. “Less Than Half Of Maryland Students Pass English, Math Assessments.” Baltimore Sun. 22, August 2017. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bs-md-parcc-scores-20170821-story.html

14 “Maryland Vital Statistics Annual Report, 2014.” Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2015. https://health.maryland.gov/vsa/Documents/14annual_revised.pdf

15 “The State of Preschool 2016.” The National Institute for Early Education Research. 2016. http://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Full_State_of_Preschool_2016_9.15.17_compressed.pdf

16 Harman, Juliana; Post, Sasha; O’Halloran, Scott. “The United States Is Far Behind Other Countries on Pre-K.” Center for American Progress. 2, May 2013. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2013/05/02/62054/the-united-states-is-far-behind-other-countries-on-pre-k/

17 “Child Care Subsidy Program.” Maryland Department of Education. 2017. http://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/child-care-providers/child-care-subsidy-program

18 Gormley, William Jr. et. al. “The Effects of Oklahoma’s Pre-K Program on School Readiness.” Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. April 2010. https://www.fcd-us.org/assets/2016/04/EffectsOfOKsPKProgram-FullReport.pdf

19 “Pre-Kindergarten: What The Research Shows.” Center for Public Education. March 2007. http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Pre-kindergarten/Pre-Kindergarten/Pre-kindergarten-What-the-research-shows.html

20 Baltimore Judy Center. Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) Results SY 16-17.

21 “Baltimore Expanded Summer Learning Program Yields Gains In Reading And Math Skills For 1,900 K-8 Students.” Building Educated Leaders for Life. 9, January 2017. https://www.experiencebell.org/news/baltimore%E2%80%99s-expanded-summer-learning-program-yields-gains-reading-and-math-skills-1900-k-8-stud

22 Idib.

23 Hogan Jr., Lawrence J. “Maryland Budget Highlights FY2018.” Maryland Department of Budget and Management. 2017. http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/budget/Documents/operbudget/2017/2017Highlights.pdf

24 Ibid.

25 Gamard, Sarah. “How Free Eyeglasses Are Boosting Test Scores In Baltimore.” Politico. 17, August 2017. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/17/how-free-eyeglasses-are-boosting-test-scores-in-baltimore-215501

26 “Projected Reductions in Youth Programming: FY2017 vs. FY2018.” Family League of Baltimore. 2017. http://familyleague.org/

27 Layton, Lindsey. “Study Says Standardized Testing Is Overwhelming Nation’s Public Schools.” Washington Post. 24, October 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-says-standardized-testing-is-overwhelming-nations-public-schools/2015/10/24/8a22092c-79ae-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html?utm_term=.2970a2a8f945

28 Desilver, Drew. “U.S. Students’ Academic Achievement Still Lags That Of Their Peers In Many Other Countries.” Pew Research Center. 15, February 2017. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/

29 Strauss, Victoria. “Think Teachers Aren’t Paid Enough? It’s Wore Than You Think.” Washington Post. 16, August 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/08/16/think-teachers-arent-paid-enough-its-worse-than-you-think/?utm_term=.566e1c48b65b

30 Chingos, Matthew; Whitehurst, Grover. “Class Size: What Research Says and What It Means For State Policy.” Brookings Insitute. 11, May 2011. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0511_class_size_whitehurst_chingos.pdf

31 “Maryland Class Size Report: Student, Course, Grade, Teacher.” Maryland State Department of Education. January 2013. http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/OCP/SpecialReports/20112012MDClassSizeReport.pdf

32 “Fast Facts 2017.” National Center for Homeless Education. 2017. http://www.aacc.nche.edu/AboutCC/Documents/AACCFactSheet2017.pdf

33 Ibid.

34 Jackson, C. Kirabo; Johnson, Rucker C.; Persico, Claudia. “The Effects of School Spending on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Volume 131, Issue 1. 1, February 2016. Pages 157-218. https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/131/1/157/2461148/The-Effects-of-School-Spending-on-Educational-and

35 Viloria, Dennis. “Data on Display: Education Matters.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. March 2016. https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2016/data-on-display/education-matters.htm

36 “School Dropouts and Their Impact on the Criminal Justice System.” Task Force to Study High School Dropout Rates of Persons in the Criminal Justice System. December 2012. http://dlslibrary.state.md.us/publications/Exec/GOCCP/SB755Ch286_2011.pdf

37 Levin, Henry, et. al. “The Cost and Benefits of an Excellent Education for All of America’s Children. Teachers College, Columbia University. January 2007. http://www.literacycooperative.org/documents/Thecostsandbenefitsofanexcellentedforamerchildren.pdf

38 “The Fact Book.” Maryland State Department of Education. 2015. http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DBS/FactBook/FactBook20142015.pdf

39 Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Maryland Fiscal Year 2002 Operating Budget. 2001.

40 Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Maryland Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget. 2017.

Contribute Now

Click on an option to get started. If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately.