Maryland faces a teacher shortage and a shrinking teacher pipeline. While Maryland’s teacher attrition rates are better than the national average, they vary across the state, and in places like Baltimore City it’s as high as 11.1%. Disadvantaged students also face a more difficult path in their education outcomes. In Maryland, dual enrollment programs serve fewer students of color, and Black and Latinx students are underrepresented among AP-exam takers. The Blueprint has added important improvements, like higher salaries for K-12 teachers, student loan forgiveness programs for Teaching Fellows, and grants for higher education aimed towards increasing diversity in teacher training and preparation.
The Blueprint does many things well: it seeks to ensure equitable funding across school districts, improves teacher compensation, makes certain schools in low-income areas community schools, and increases access to college and career readiness programs for all students. John is committed to fully implementing the Blueprint while taking input from educators every step of the way but knows that more must be done.
Expanding on the Blueprint will also require addressing the lack of diversity in Maryland’s teaching workforce, which is 75% white while 62% of our students are students of color. It will also require expanding student loan forgiveness and scholarships for prospective teachers.
The Blueprint is an important first step, but can’t be the last. As Governor, John will:
Ensure that public money goes to public schools.
- Eliminate the BOOST Program (Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today) that provides vouchers for parents to send their students to private schools.
Recognize, support and diversify Maryland’s educator workforce.
- Pay teachers at best-in-the-nation levels, phasing in a minimum starting salary of $60,000 by 2023, ahead of Blueprint’s mandate.
- Increase starting salaries for education support professionals.
- Implement the Blueprint’s career “ladder” framework across Maryland school districts with educator input every step of the way, providing a clear pathway for Maryland educations to grow professionally and be compensated.
- Increase the amount of student loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in shortage areas at schools serving students from low-income backgrounds.
- Increase the funding level for the Maryland Teacher Fellows program to $20 million to support 1,000 new teachers annually.
- Increase diversity of teachers by increasing investment in a pipeline of bilingual teachers and starting a new teacher recruitment and training program focused on HBCUs.
Prepare all students for college and careers.
- Keep 9th grade students on track for success by ensuring the statewide 9th-grade on-track data required by Blueprint is actually used to build plans to support every student.
- Expand access to meaningful, relevant college and career opportunities in high school by ensuring all high schools, including rural and those in underserved communities, have advanced coursework opportunities like dual enrollment, early college, AP and IB courses and Career and Technical Education programs aligned to well-paid 21st century jobs.
- Ensure high-quality Career and Technical Education is available to all, aligned to Maryland’s future job market including training for green jobs in wind, solar, geothermal, and more.
Helping all students learn and love to read.
- Invest in a statewide literacy initiative, developed with educators, to close the equity gap in reading and support all students to be proficient readers by 3rd grade.
- Work with educators to select and invest in reading curricula that are evidence-based and culturally responsive.
- Provide educators with aligned, high-quality professional development.
- Hire accomplished educators as reading teachers in high-need schools, to work with educators in refining their craft to teach in an evidence-based way.
- Work with educator preparation programs to ensure new educators are trained in evidence-based, culturally responsive practices for teaching reading.
- Grow and sustain young children’s love of reading and ensure all students see themselves in their books, through ensuring all school libraries in the state have engaging and culturally relevant texts that reflect Maryland’s students and history, and expanding on existing state and local initiatives to ensure all of our youngest learners statewide have access to books in their homes.
Ensure an education that reflects Maryland’s students and our nation’s history.
- Develop an Advisory Committee of educators, students, families and other stakeholders to ensure Maryland standards, courses and teacher preparation reflect Maryland students and communities.
- Institute a course of studies that provides students with an understanding of African-American and/or Black and Latino contributions to United States and Maryland history, society, economy, and culture.