The Funding Formula for Kirwan: A Multi-County Perspective

The Funding Formula for Kirwan: A Multi-County Perspective

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Maryland Philanthropy Network is pleased to host Dr. Brit Kirwan, Chairman of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education , Del. Maggie McIntosh, Chairwoman of the House of Appropriations Committee, Dr. Alvin Thornton, Chairman of Prince George’s County Board of Education and Benjamin Orr, Executive Director of Maryland Center on Economic Policy, for an update on the current state of the Maryland’s education funding formula. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup has been meeting since the spring of 2019 to determine how much counties and the state will pay for proposals such as expanding access to high-quality preschool, providing more supports for students facing challenges and expanding learning time. The decisions of this workgroup will have a significant impact on all aspects of life in Maryland for decades to come. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup is expected to make recommendations to the full Kirwan Commission by November 1st.

Maryland’s education funding formula was last updated in 2002 as a result of the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act (known as the Thornton plan). This national model for equitable school funding increased the number of schools meeting the funding standard from four in 2002 to 23 in 2008. Students’ test scores also improved during these years as school funding increased. However, the Great Recession led policymakers to either skip or cap scheduled inflation adjustments in our school funding formula — effectively chipping away at education funding. With $255 million in new funding entering the state next year, there is an important discussion to have around equity and the funding formula. As Christopher Meyer, Research Analyst at Maryland Center on Economic Policy, writes: “Only six of the state’s 24 school districts were close to the 2002 funding standard as of 2017, and more than half of Black students attended a school district that was underfunded by 15 percent or more.”

During this program, members will:

1.    Hear perspectives from members of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Working Group;

2.    Learn what the working group is proposing and how that fits into Maryland’s fiscal landscape;

3.    Develop unified messaging to share with their networks about the current state of the funding formula;

3.    Understand the political landscape surrounding Kirwan and the likelihood of funding to pass in various issue areas;

4.    Recognize the inequity in how funding is received across Maryland and how equity will be addressed in the new funding formula;

5.    Discuss efforts to safeguard funding against economic downturn;

6.    Leave with specific actions to support a world-class education system in Maryland.

This program is for Maryland Philanthropy Network members only; lunch will be served.


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