- We support the Commission’s recommendation to provide funding for full-day Pre-K funding for 3- and 4-year-olds from low-income families as the top priority, to be followed by a sliding scale for 4-year-olds based on family income.
- However, we urge the Commission to shorten the 10-year timeline for phase-in.
- The Commission makes major recommendations about raising teacher pay, establishing a career ladder, and providing more planning time as well as establishing more rigorous requirements for becoming a teacher.
- We support the Commission’s recommendation of recruiting culturally representative Pre-K-12 educators across the state. However, we believe there should be more emphasis on retaining those educators.
- Proposed scholarships for “highly skilled and diverse” teacher candidates should specify target goals to ensure an increase of Black and Brown teachers.
- Maryland should require that teachers be trained in cultural competency to be effective in Maryland classrooms. We support identifying and implementing culturally specific pedagogy, curriculum investments, and assessments at all grade levels.
- The Commission makes detailed recommendations about career technical education and preparing students by the end of 10th grade to go into a college or career pathway.
- We support recommendations providing culturally responsive counseling and career services to increase graduation rates and transition to college/career.
- The Commission makes a pivotal recommendation to add funding for schools in concentrated poverty (in addition to per student funding for all students in poverty). We are not convinced, however, that the funding amount is sufficient to provide all the staffing needed to address academic, socio-emotional, enrichment needs in these schools.
- We support collaborating with culturally specific community based organizations to provide wraparound services, youth mentoring and other supports.
- We support recommendations that ensure all school districts, especially those serving high ratios of students of color, get their full amount of funding target.
NEED TIPS FOR WRITING AND DELIVERING A PUBLIC COMMENT?
Here are some tips from Caylin Young, Public Policy Counsel at ACLU of Maryland:
- Keep your comment brief, efficient, and on topic.
- Introduce yourself and give your affiliation, such as student, parent, community advocate. Tell the Commission which county you are from and the name of your school (if applicable).
- Identify 3 main points maximum for your comment. You can break down each point, but stick to 3 main ones.
- Structure your comment by telling the Commission what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.
- Tell a personal story that is relevant to the specific point you are trying to address. A personal story will maximize your effectiveness.
- Thank the Commission and provide your contact information along with a few printed copies of your written testimony.
- Submit an electronic copy of your comment in advance of the hearing.
- Double-check details for submitting your public comment to make sure you have checked off everything on the list of instructions.
- Practice, practice, practice! Practicing saying your comment will not only build confidence, but will help you keep it within the allotted timeframe (3 minutes!). They may cut you off if you go over.
- Relax and don’t forget to breathe!
Time to flex your advocacy muscles! Thank you for making your voice heard.
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