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.