School saved John’s life. Both of his parents died by the time he turned 12. He struggled so much that he was kicked out of high school. As a Black and Puerto Rican kid dealing with trauma and struggling in school it would have been easy for his teachers to give up on him. But great public school educators gave John a second chance and inspired him to become an educator himself.
But John also knows that far too many children, particularly Black children, don’t get the chance that he did. That’s what he’s spent his whole career trying to fight. As Governor, he’ll continue his life’s work.
John King will:
- Follow through on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to ensure equitable resources for Black students in K-12 education.
- Institute universal, high-quality PreK for all 3- and 4-year-olds by 2030.
- Expand income eligibility for childcare scholarships for Maryland families, and cap parental contributions for families participating in the childcare scholarship program at no more than 7% of family income to ensure universal access to high-quality childcare birth through 5.
- Improve the diversity of Maryland’s educator workforce, starting with enhanced recruitment of teachers of color in subject areas where they are particularly underrepresented and doubling to $2 million annually the amount the Blueprint pledges to the Maryland Higher Education Commission to increase the quality and diversity in Maryland’s teacher training pipeline. Less than half of Maryland’s population is white, yet our teaching force is 75% white.
- Invest $4 million annually in starting and sustaining a robust HBCU-focused teacher recruitment and preparation program to bring more Black Marylanders into the teaching profession, and pay for their education if they make the commitment to teach in Maryland communities for at least four years. Nationally, HBCUs are 3% of colleges and universities but produce 50% of Black teachers. In 2015, only 4.4% of students that graduated from Maryland Approved Programs graduated from Maryland HBCUs.
- Guarantee access to high-quality mental health services from licensed professionals to every child, family, teacher and administrator in Maryland schools.
- Provide 24-hour access to telemedicine so students, families, and school staff can privately and virtually access help from mental health providers in a stigma-free environment.
- Expand access to school-based health services, particularly in high need Black communities.
- Continue applying for federal waivers as Maryland has done throughout the pandemic to keep benefiting from federal pandemic food assistance programs for students that typically qualify for the National School Lunch Program.