News from Annapolis
2019 Session:  Week   2                 Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
  • Governor's Charter School Bills
  • Report from the Kirwan Commission Hearing
  • Minimum Wage video
  • District News
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The Charter School Battle 
Gov. Larry Hogan announces plan to boost charter schools in Maryland
        Governor Hogan is proposing increases to funding Maryland's Charter schools.  The year 2020 budget includes $2.6 million for construction projects at charter schools along with  $1.2 million fund reserved for critical repairs.

        The Governor is also sponsoring the "Public Charter School Facility Fund Act of 2019 which would provide $1,600 in per-pupil funding for each public charter school student to be distributed through the Maryland State Department of Education.

        Opposition to charter schools in Maryland has often been "frustrating," said Governor Hogan: 
"We have long waiting lists. The public is demanding these schools. . . .  I know that they work. I know these kids are getting a great education."
Report from the first Kirwan Hearing


 "Maryland will have to find an innovative approach to education governance and accountability in order to get the same kind of coherence and power from the education system being proposed by the Commission."

Click here for the full report.
House finance committees hold heaing on Kirwan Commission Report     
         This past Wednesday, the House Appropriations and Ways & Means committees were given an overview of the work of the Kirwan Commission, by its Chair,  Dr. William E. Kirwan. 
               Without a doubt, the commission's work is impressive, and its website provides access to virtually everything that was said or read during its two years of meetings.  Moreover, it is clear that Dr. Kirwan is passionate about education and is a strong advocate for the results and recommendations of the Commission.
        Although the final report is not yet available, the commission has issued a 125-page Preliminary Report that discusses the framework for the work and sets forth 59 specific, integrated recommendations for driving Maryland schools into a "world class system."            
         Despite our long-held belief that Maryland schools were at least among the top 10 school systems in the country," the Commission's first finding was an unwelcome surprise to legislators and public alike: 
          "[Maryland] students still perform in the middle of the pack within the U.S. which is in the middle of the pack against the rest of the modern world."
        When it comes to actual learning outcomes "Maryland's public education system is a long way from performing at the level of the best in the world or even the best in the United States."    
         After studying education systems in countries The Report describes Maryland's current education system, as "highly decentralized," and "highly fractionalized," based on the State's preference for local control." Thus, to "build a world class system in Maryland" would require the State to embrace a system in which  control is exercised from the top down.   
         After the presentation, Dr. Kirwan addressed a number of questions from legislators.  The questions indicated serious concerns in two areas:  (1) what happens to local control, and (2) how much will it cost the counties?
        The funding "split" between the State and the local jurisdictions could not be determined until the Commission finished its work (expected to be around June 2019).
        There was no clean answer with respect to how the new programs will affect local control.  However, according to the recommendations inherent in the five "policy areas" (listed below), a number of areas currently handled by the localities will now be exercised by the State Board of Education and new committees empowered to act.


 The Five "Policy Areas"

1.  Early Childhood Education and Care: 


        High quality pre-K will be expanded to all four-year-olds and all low-income three-year olds. 


        All children will be assessed before they come to kindergarten to identify those who need supports to be ready to learn.

1.        Data shows that early childhood education (such as Head Start) "wears off" when a child gets to 3rd or 4th grade.  Shouldn't we "fix" the existing schools before adding more  . . .
2. Recruiting, Training, and Retaining High Quality and Diverse Educators and Leaders: 


        Higher paid, better education, more rigorously trained teachers will work as professionals in schools that offer real careers in teaching, and change the way schools are organized and managed to phase in a substantial reduction in the amount of time teachers are required to teach to ensure that teachers have the time they need to work together in teams to continuously improve their practice.

 Is reducing the time that teachers actually teach
good idea?
3. World Class Instructional System: 


          "The new system will include fully aligned curriculum frameworks, course syllabi and assessments designed to prepare students to reach a career and college ready (CCR) standard set to global standards. 

          Most students will be expected to meet the standard by the end of grade 10 and all students are expected to meet it by the end of high school.  Once that standard is met, students can choose one of several programs to prepare for postsecondary education and/or industry credential."

1. Will the "fully aligned curriculum, course syllabi and assessments be the responsibility of the State or the Local Boards of Education ?
2. What happens to the students who do not meet the career and college ready standard by time to graduate?
4.  "System that Ensures At-Risk Students are Successful: 


    "This system will provide at-risk students ongoing academic supports and enrichment as well as extensive case management to address social, physical mental and family needs that will enable success at school."

  • "Change school organization and staffing to allow for teacher collaboration to support struggling students.
  • Expand Family Support Centers to provide and coordinate access to support services for at-risk young children (0-5)and their families"
It seems like the school system is providing as many social welfare programs as the State's Departments of Disabilities, Health, Human Services and Housing & Community Development.  How do the departments coordinate, and is this the best way to spend education dollars?
5. Governance & Accountability

A system will be put in place to oversee this new system, monitor its implementation and hold government accountable for implementation of the Commissions recommendations .
         "[ An] independent oversight body to oversee and coordinate implementation of the plan. . . . Funding will depend on a determination that the approved plans are in fact being implemented."
1. What tools will the independent oversite committee have to ensure the implementation of the plan, other than the power to withhold funds from non-complying schools ?
        The greatest concern expressed by the legislators was about "accountability."  Looking back at the Thornton Commission, the last major effort to improve schools, it was hard not to see parallels in accountability.
        In addition to the $3.2 billion dollar increase over the eight years from 2000-2008, Thornton required the State Department of Education to withhold funds from districts that were not implementing Thornton recommendations.
        Unfortunately, the state failed to withhold funds or take any other action to ensure accountability.
        Concern about accountability also arose from the lack of specificity in the Preliminary Report, and that "accountability" seemed always to be the last topic discussed in any set of discussions.
More on Raising the Minimum Wage
District News
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce to offer new perks for small businesses

         The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce has joined the new Maryland Chamber Federation, which will allow any small business member with 10 or fewer full-time employees to receive free Federation membership with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.
           "Federation partners will gain increased influence in the state legislature through direct input and participation in the Maryland Chamber's legislative activities," states a Jan. 23 release from the MDCC. 
        "They will also receive proactive General Assembly representation aggregating chamber 'clout' to oppose initiatives harmful to business and supportive of job growth," it states. (Carroll County Times)
County Delegation
Work/Vote Session
January 30, 2019
Howard County Delegation Room 
(Lowe House Office Building Room 218) - 9:00am
        The Delegation will discuss and possibly vote on the following proposed local bond initiative and bills. This agenda is subject to change at the discretion of the Delegation Chairs.
Bond Initiative Requests
  • Early Childhood Education Center, Ho. Co. 28-19, $50,000; Sponsored by: DelegateTerrasa
 Proposed Local Bills
  • Howard County - Orphans' Court Judges - Qualifications, Ho. Co. 2-19; Sponsored by:Delegate Atterbeary
  • Howard County - Impact Fees - Calculation, Ho. Co. 3-19; Sponsored by: Delegate Atterbeary
  • Howard County - Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags, Ho. Co. 4-19; Sponsored by: Delegate Hill
  • Howard County - Ethics - Limit on Developer Contributions, Ho. Co. 12-19; Sponsored by: Delegate Miller
  • Howard County - Flood Control Standards - Tiber - Hudson Branch, New Cut Branch, and Plum Tree Branch, Ho.Co. 11-19; Sponsored by: Delegate Watson
  • Howard County - Howard County School Board Determining School Calendar, Ho. Co.25-19; Sponsored by: Delegate Watson
  • Howard County - Alcoholic Beverages - Marketplace License, Ho.Co. 06-19; Sponsored by: Delegate Hill
Delegate Trent Kittleman
District 9A, Western Howard County and Southern Carroll County (Sykesville)
Room 202, Lowe House Office Building
6 Bladen Street,   Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3556  *   Trent.Kittleman@House.State.MD.US
Interim Office
3000 Kittleman Lane,  West Friendship, MD 21794
301-661-3344  *
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy