The ACLU has consistently fought for the rights of Maryland’s most vulnerable students to receive the “thorough and efficient” education guaranteed them by the state Constitution. The ACLU’s success in the Bradford legal adequacy case propelled the establishment of the “Thornton” Commission and passage of the historic Bridge to Excellence in Education Act of 2002 (“Thornton” formula), which increased funds for education based on principles of “adequacy”, with additional funds allocated for children from families with low income. State cutbacks since 2007, however, have put school systems far below the funding level originally required in the Bridge to Excellence law.

The ACLU works toward adequacy and equity in education funding through policy advocacy and collaborative work with coalition partners in Baltimore City and across Maryland.

KIRWAN COMMISSION: Maryland’s Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education