Kirwan Commission | WYPR

Kirwan Commission

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers have proposed a new sales tax on professional services as a way to pay for the Kirwan Commission’s recommended school system overhaul.

Under the bill introduced Thursday, services ranging from lawyers to contractors to haircuts would be taxed at 5%. The existing sales tax on tangible goods would be cut from 6% to 5%.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers began work Monday on a highly anticipated package of sweeping education reforms that reflects recommendations by the Kirwan Commission. Hundreds of teachers, activists and local government officials came to Annapolis to testify or show their support for the bill.

Rachel Baye


  Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to release on Wednesday a proposed $47.9-billion budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. Hogan told reporters on Tuesday that the budget includes money for initiatives intended to reduce crime in Baltimore, though he had not yet released the full budget for the public or lawmakers to review.

John Lee

Since August, around 180 teachers, therapists, social workers and nurses have resigned from Baltimore County Public Schools. And that does not include staff who have retired and teachers who have gone on leave.

 

Rachel Baye


  Typically when state lawmakers return to Annapolis for the annual 90-day legislative session, each brings a unique set of priorities. But when the General Assembly convenes for its 441st session on Wednesday, one subject is poised to overshadow almost everything else:  A proposal to overhaul public education in Maryland. 

Democratic leaders in the state Senate and House of Delegates say they are confident the legislature will pass the sweeping education reforms recommended by what is known as the Kirwan Commission, and they say they won’t raise taxes to pay for the plan.

Photo Courtesy WYPR / Rachel Baye

Tom's guest today is Dr. Brit Kirwan.  He is the chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence, also known as the Kirwan Commission.

Last week, the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education made its long awaited recommendations about how much state and local jurisdictions should pay to improve educational outcomes in MD.  The price tag is high and opponents of the plan include Governor Larry Hogan.  Most observers of the MD General Assembly expect that debate about the plan will dominate the 2020 Session. 

Rachel Baye

A state panel has proposed a highly anticipated revamp of the formula Maryland uses to fund public schools. The new formula would facilitate a major overhaul of public education in the state that would eventually increase spending on schools by roughly $4 billion a year.

The formula gradually increases the state’s share of education costs so that in the year 2030, the state would spend an additional $2.8 billion. Local jurisdictions would be on the hook for the remaining $1.2 billion.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that aims to reshape the way Maryland approaches public education.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan took aim on Monday at the job legislators are doing, focusing in particular on efforts to raise the minimum wage and to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on schools.

Photo courtesy University of Maryland

Today, it's Midday on Education. Tom's guest, Dr. William "Brit" Kirwan, is the chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission. Dr. Kirwan was formerly president of the University of Maryland, where he served on the faculty for 34 years. He was also Chancellor of the University System of Maryland from 2002-2015.

The Kirwan Commission was created three years ago by the Maryland governor and the General Assembly to improve the state’s public education system and to recommend a new funding formula for our public schools. 

The commission recently released an Interim Report.  It includes a series of recommendations about how the state should re-order its educational priorities and improve accountability.  It does not yet tackle the thorny issue of a funding formula: how the state and local jurisdictions will divide the cost.  Whatever the formula ends up being, it will have to shoulder a hefty price tag, estimated at nearly $4 billion dollars over the next ten years. 

The General Assembly is currently considering a bill that would provide a billion dollars over the next two years, to begin implementing the commission’s recommendations.  Last Friday, the Maryland House revised Gov. Hogan's budget proposal to include about $320 million more for public education, a first step.

Dr. Kirwan joins us to discuss the proposals contained in the interim report, and he addresses listener  comments and questions.

You can view the video of today's live-streamed conversation on the WYPR Facebook Page.

Dr. Kirwan will be speaking this Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00pm at a free event at the Cathedral of the Incarnation at 4 East University Parkway in Baltimore.  

Twenty-four years ago, a judge ordered fundamental changes to the way Baltimore City Public Schools are managed and funded. The ruling, the result of a 1994 lawsuit, led to Maryland’s current public school funding formula.

Then over the next decade, the court issued more opinions, saying that Baltimore students continued to be shortchanged.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a motion in Baltimore City Circuit Court to reopen that 1994 lawsuit. In the filing, they accuse Maryland of violating the state constitution by underfunding Baltimore City schools.

Rachel Baye

Legislators in Annapolis will have their first chance to weigh in on recommendations by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education — better known as the "Kirwan Commission" — which is studying ways to improve K-12 education in Maryland. A bill reflecting many of those recommendations is to go before a Senate committee Wednesday afternoon.

Rachel Baye

Audio to be added.

A long-awaited report by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education — better known as the Kirwan Commission — recommends full-day preschool for all low-income 3 and 4-year-olds, higher academic standards, more training for teachers and raising teacher pay. And it proposes creating an “independent oversight board” to ensure that the new policies, once they are approved, are properly implemented.

The report, released Thursday, recommends rolling out the changes over the next decade.

Rachel Baye

Four Democratic candidates for governor and three for lieutenant governor discussed education policy at a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Real News Network in Baltimore.

The forum’s focus was the state panel studying how to revise Maryland’s education funding formulas and modernize the state’s approach to education more broadly. The group is known as the Kirwan Commission because it’s led by University System of Maryland Chancellor Emeritus Brit Kirwan. It plans to publish its recommendations at the end of the year, and they are expected to come with a large price tag.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers on Thursday announced a series of education grants and programs aimed at increased support for low-income students, career and technical education and improved teaching.

The legislation is the result of preliminary recommendations by a state commission chaired by former University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, and is the first part of what could be wide-reaching changes to Maryland’s public schools.