The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future
Background: Since its inception in 2017, Strong Schools Maryland has built a sprawling network of tens of thousands of individual grassroots supporters focused on securing the 2020 passage and 2021 veto override of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a law dedicating financial resources and critical policies to create a world-class system of public education in the state.
Now that the Blueprint is law, Strong Schools Maryland has shifted its mission to continue working with supporters across the state to monitor the implementation of the law; advocate for legislative and regulatory policy changes to further educational equity; and build the technical capacity of everyday Marylanders to hold state and local officials accountable to their responsibilities.
Progress: During the summer, the Strong Schools Maryland Team visited all 24 Maryland counties to promote the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
Beginning in January 2023, the team conducted a deep dive into Blueprint mandated reports. Counties are required to submit certain reports every year to update the Maryland Department of Education (MDDE), the Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB), and the public on their progress with Blueprint implementation. While many reports were submitted in 2022, Strong Schools analyzed a sample of reports included the Diverse Hiring Practices report, 2021 Trauma and Behavioral Health report, and 2022 Trauma and Behavioral Health report. Analysis was simple: did the counties provide responses to the reporting questions posed by the law?
After a deep dive into Blueprint implementation reports, Strong Schools Maryland has evidence that 20 out of the 24 Maryland counties had at least one report that satisfactorily responded to one reporting requirement.
Three reports were analyzed (Diverse Hiring Practices report, 2021 Trauma and Behavioral Health report, and 2022 Trauma and Behavioral Health report) and there were 12 total reporting requirements between the 3 reports.
Learn More: Visit the links below to learn more about how each of Maryland’s Counties has performed so far or visit the Strong Schools Maryland website.
For more information and background, also visit the Accountability and Implementation Board’s website to learn more about the history behind the Blueprint for Maryland, why it is important and needs to be implemented, the outcomes to be expected and the five pillars of its implementation.
On Thursday, April 13, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board approved releasing money to the state’s 24 school systems because each had met the board’s minimum requirements for their local education plans. Earlier the Maryland State Legislature approved as part of the state’s budget an additional $900 million in the Blueprint for Maryland Future fund, which is the state’s savings account for ongoing educational reform.
As reported in Maryland Matters, the Accountability and Implementation Board will verify that local school district plans meet minimum requirements to implement the Blueprint’s four priorities: early childhood education, hiring and retaining high-quality and diverse teachers, preparing students for college and technical careers and providing more resources for students in need. Each school system’s plan will be approved on a “rolling basis” beginning at the board’s next meeting May 11.
School leaders have a second deadline in March 2024 to submit Blueprint plans for incorporating the four priorities through the 2026-27 school year.