TAKE ACTION: Tell Maryland legislators 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 (HB 1300 / SB 1000). The time is now to #FocustheFormula and fix generations of disinvestment by the State in the education of Black and Brown children.
Under Maryland’s Constitution, it is the State’s responsibility to ensure that all students receive an education that meets State adequacy standards. It's time for the State of Maryland to finally ensure Black and Brown students have the resources they need to reach their dreams by lifting the burden of inequitable education funding.
There is a lot to be excited about in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future bill (HB 1300/SB 1000) – more funding for pre-kindergarten, special education, and other programs, teacher pay and quality, and college and career pathways. But the bill 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 the formula 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 funding phase-in;
- Ensure that pre-k programs and standards are a continuation of those set for K-12
- Empower teachers with the knowledge and tools to address the different learning needs of all students; and
- Provide adequate funding for English Language Learners.
The Maryland General Assembly held its only public hearing of the 2020 legislative session on the Blueprint bill on February 17. ACLU of Maryland’s Executive Director, Dana Vickers Shelley, Senior Education Advocate, Frank Patinella, testified on the importance of having a “race-brave” approach that centers race and wealth equity in the education funding formula.
House Appropriations Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Budget and Tax Committee, and Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee
ACLU of Maryland's written testimony for The Blueprint for Maryland's Future (HB 1300 / SB 1000)
Frank Patinella’s recent piece in the Baltimore Business Journal, “Viewpoint: We need a race-brave approach to education reform”
Historic Case: Bradford v. Maryland State Board of Education