Blueprint for Maryland's Future: Focus the Formula

TAKE ACTION NOW

Our legislators have the opportunity to fix generations of disinvestment by the State of Maryland in the education of Black and Brown children in Baltimore City and other jurisdictions with low wealth.

Maryland must help Black and Brown students reach their dreams by lifting the burden of inequitable education funding.

Send a message to Maryland legislators that the time is now to take a race-brave approach and focus the education funding formula to ensure that race and wealth equity are at the heart of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (HB1300/SB1000).

In 2008, this structural problem got worse when the State eliminated the inflation adjustment in its Thornton funding formula, which resulted in even worse inequities in funding for school districts with low wealth.

In 2017, a review by the State's Department of Legislative Services revealed that Baltimore City Public Schools were underfunded by an estimated $342 million per year. The huge shortfall contributed to a reversal in the progress previously made in closing the funding "adequacy" gap in the early years of the Thornton funding formula.

There is a lot to be excited about in the Blueprint bill – more funding for prekindergarten, special education, and other programs, teacher pay and quality, and college and career pathways – but it does not address this serious funding deficit. Instead, the bill ignores a decade of under-resourcing students in districts with low wealth, even as the bar is raised further from their reach.

Tell Maryland legislators to focus the formula to meet all students where they are, and ensure the funding structure gives Black and Brown children the targeted resources they need to succeed and thrive.

Please take action now.

Message Recipients:

House Ways & Means Committee
House Approrpiations Committee

#FocusTheFormula - Blueprint for Maryland's Future. Yellow background with a stack of books in the bottom right corner in red and blue.
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Your Message

As a Marylander, I urge you to support race-brave amendments to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (HB1300) that will focus the formula to ensure that race and wealth equity are at the heart of the bill.

While I applaud more funding for prekindergarten and other programs, teacher pay and quality, and college and career pathways in the Blueprint bill, it ignores a decade of structural under-resourcing of students in districts with low wealth, even as the bar is raised further from their reach.

To make the Blueprint bill fair for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, income or zip code, we must focus it in the following ways:

• Address the current funding deficit and front-load Blueprint funding in districts of low wealth where students have been under-resourced by the State for decades;
• Protect students from being under-resourced in future years by reducing unrealistic and inequitable local contributions from jurisdictions with low wealth;
• Match accountability expectations with the phase-in of funding and ensure accountability is collaborative and constructive, instead of punitive;
• Ensure that pre-k programs and standards are a continuation of those set for K-12;
• Embrace Culturally Responsive Pedagogy as a strategy to ensure that teachers and school staff are culturally competent and students are affirmed in their identities;
• Provide strategies and incentives to increase and retain the number of Black and Brown teachers in schools; and
• Provide adequate funding for English Language Learners.

Black and Brown students make up more than half of Maryland’s public school enrollment. Please amend the Blueprint bill (HB1300) to ensure the formula gives them the targeted resources they need to succeed and thrive.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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