News from Annapolis
2019 Session:          Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
Week Eleven-A
  • The Governor's Vetoes
  • In Education . . .
    • BOOST saved, but funds cut
    • Kirwan Ignores Public Charter Schools
    • D.C. School System WORKS!
  • Scholarships: Instructions & Application:  DEADLINE for submission is APRIL 5.
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Governor's Vetoes Overridden
        Governor Hogan vetoed three major bills last week; each veto was immediately overridden by the legislature.          
"Governor Vetoes 2 pieces of politically motivated legislation."
HB 1052: Alcohol & Tobacco Commission

        The Governor left little to the imagination regarding why he vetoed this bill.
        "This legislation is not necessary, serves no purpose, will waste taxpayers' money, and disrupts a well-ordered and completely functional regulatory system.  Simply put, House Bill 1052 is a solution in search of a problem that does not exist.  This is personality-driven, petty, partisan politics at its worst.
        "In place of the well-respected and award-winning Field Enforcement Division on the Office of the Comptroller, the provisions of HB1052 would replace it with a Rube Goldberg  contraption, establishing needless administrative and bureaucratic chaos, creating uncertainty for regulated entities, and incurring an unacceptable waste of taxpayer dollars."
SB128: Community Control of School Calendars Act.

        "This unfortunate legislation unravels years of bipartisan work and study by seeking to reverse the post-Labor Day school start for public schools.  Instead, Senate Bill 128 runs directly counter to an action favored by the vast majority of Marylanders."

        So begins Governor Hogan's veto message, explaining why he vetoed this bill.  
        The Governor went on to point out that he had "tried to work with members of the Maryland General Assembly on a compromise bill.  It would have allowed any local school system wanting to open school before Labor Day to put the decision on the ballot for voters to make the final decision.  The legislature did not even give the Governor's bill the courtesy of a hearing.      
        The Governor took particular umbrage to the provision in SB128 that directly controls the ballot language "in a clear attempt to change the outcome of the referendum.  This is highly irregular and a thinly veiled attempt to manipulate the will of our citizens." 
HB 166:  Minimum Wage Bill
        Governor Hogan wasted no time is setting forth his reasons for vetoing House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 280.
        "If enacted, SB280 and HB166 would cause a dramatic 48% increase in our minimum wage to $15, which could cost us jobs, negatively impact our economic competitiveness and devastate our state's economy.  . . . 
        "During the time I've been Governor, Maryland's minimum wage has increased four years in a row, by nearly 40%, to $10.10, which is by far the highest in the region and one of the highest in the nation."
         . . . . .
        "Normally, we have been able to come together to achieve bipartisan solutions, but this legislation misses the mark and entirely disregards my common sense compromise proposals.
        "In the spirit of compromise, I provided the General Assembly with several reasonably options . . .
        "I proposed a manageable, phased increase of the minimum wage by two dollars to $12.10 by the year 2022," with triggers to raise it even higher
        "In addition, I proposed that we differentiate the minimum wage increase to account for geographical differences.  . . .
        "Finally, I proposed a fair and more effective way to help those who are struggling to make ends meet by increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit to 60% of the federal wage." 
More on Minimum Wage :
In Education . . .
BOOST program saved, but funds cut - again!
        The Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) program awards scholarships to low-income students to attend private schools.
        Although it has received bipartisan support for nearly a decade, as the legislature moves further and further to the left, the program is in danger of extinction.
        Indeed, the House version of this year's budget included language effectively killing BOOST by prohibiting the program from giving vouchers to any new student (except for siblings of current students).   Fortunately, the Senate eliminated that language -- but kept the cut in funding.
        There is no issue that angers and frustrates me more than the counter-intuitive stance of the far left liberals against giving poor children the same school choice opportunities as the wealthy.  
        Can you imagine a Member of  Congress sending their children to one of Baltimore City's 23 one-star schools?

Who are the BOOST students?
  • A total of 2,646 scholarships were awarded in 2018, and more than 1,650 students remained waitlisted.
  • Every student awarded a BOOST scholarship is eligible for Free & Reduced-price Meals  
  • Recipients were 57% minority
  • Average household income of all recipients in 2018 was $30,059
  • English Language Learners represent 32% of all scholarship recipients -- 1,014 students in 2018
  • Students in Baltimore City schools received 40% of the scholarship awards, followed by students in Baltimore, Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties; scholarship recipients live in 20 or the 24 Maryland jurisdictions
  • 822 awards were made to students transferring from a public school.
  • An increase in BOOST spending is supported by 65% of voters statewide, and by 82% of Baltimore City voters!
Kirwan Ignores Public Charter Schools
     The long-awaited Kirwan Commission "Interim" Report came out in January, with a "Final" Report being promised in June.  The Final Report will, we hope, flesh out and explain how the State is going to: (1) PAY for the $4 billion of changes/improvements, and (2) how we will hold schools accountable.  The Commission reports that these are the last two pieces of the report recommendations, and I believe them.  That is why am as frustrated as several of the Commission members over their complete absence of any mention of our Public Charter School System
        Dr. Chester E. Finn, who serves on the State Board of Education, wrote in his "Individual Statement," the following:
        "Children and parents should be especially troubled -- as I am -- by the Commission's refusal to endorse or recommend any form of school choice, whether within and between districts, to charter schools, or to private and alternative schools.  It could barely agree to recommend that a portion of the many additional dollars it is recommending should "follow" students to the schools they actually attend -- and that is going to be fought bitterly by district interests. . .
        "It is no coincidence that, for example, Maryland has America's worst charter law! The State's charters beseeched the Commission to give them a pat on the back and ensure that they partake in full of all its recommendations but all that appears in the Interim report is a very subtle statement that when we say "public schools" we mean all public schools.  That is intended to include charters (and other non-traditional forms of public school) but few will notice."
        Maryland may be the most conservative state in the union when it comes to education.  It is rigid in its reverence for "public education" -- far beyond its concern for the children.  Clinging to its belief that diversity and fairness will not happen unless the State holds control, the educators and the teachers' union lobby in force against any effort, no matter how small, against any and all innovations.
        It is that close-mindedness that keeps so many of our children in failing schools.  And the worst part is, the kids are the ones that are being hurt.  Just look at what's happened right next door in Washington, D.C.   Who would ever have thought we'd aspire to the success of the school system in Washington D.C.!    Read below.
The D.C. Public School System WORKS!
An education partnership between traditional and charter schools in D.C.
August 28, 2015
        Washington students all have benefited from the choices offered by two parallel systems, improving side by side.          
        With 56 percent of public school students attending system schools and 44  percent in charter schools, cooperation on creative approaches to common problems is in everyone's interest. Possible areas of cooperation include purchasing, job recruiting, transportation routes, data sharing and dissemination of best practices in teaching. 
The Post's View: Opinions
The secret sauce of D.C. charter schools
By  Richard Whitmire
September 9, 2016

      The author of the article speaks of the nasty charter fights in Los Angeles and Boston, and continues, "And then I returned to the District, where exactly nobody is fighting over charters. How can that be? Isn't this the city where everyone fights about pretty much everything every day of the year? And yet, while the rest of the country seems to be tossing pitchforks over charters, here in the District, there's peace in the land"
       "Not only is there peace, but at times charter schools and District schools intermingle, cooperating or collaborating on issues such as common enrollment and discipline. After talking with a wide range of D.C. educators, I came up with some answers."
  • Charters were allowed enough flexibility to succeed and enough accountability to weed out the worst schools.
  • Success is due in large part to the ineffectiveness of the Washington Teachers' Union, which union was significantly weakened when a former school chancellor was able to impose a teacher evaluation system based partly on student outcomes and to lay off teachers based on a lack of merit rather than a lack of seniority.
  • Forty-four percent of D.C. students attend charter schools with 56% attending city public schools
  • The District has the highest first-year teacher salary in the country. The very best can be making a six-figure salary within seven years.
  • Including facility spending, an estimate of per pupil spending is slightly more than $18,000 for charter students and more than $22,000 for traditional D.C. Public Schools students
  •  D.C.'s law includes the "Public Charter School Board," regarded as among the leading authorizers in the country. It believes in accountability, and has closed 20 charter schools over the past five years, including 15 for low academic performance.
  • Compared with DC Public Schools, the charters serve a higher percentage of poor kids, higher percentage of African American students and nearly as many special-education students
  • A significant reason the D.C. education system is working is because the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) is weak union getting weaker
  • Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes found that charters in the District add an average of about 70 days of learning in reading compared with traditional school students and 100 days in math.
  • D.C. leaders put children first
Delegate Kittleman Scholarship
College students 
and college-bound seniors (and/or parents thereof) 
If you live in Legislative District 9-A 
( western Howard County and southern Carroll County)    
I Invite you to apply for one of my legislative scholarships.
District 9-A Residents:        
          Current high school seniors and full-time or part-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students, graduate students and students attending a private career school may apply.
For questions regardi ng the a pplication process, call my Annapolis office and speak with Chelsea Leigh Murphy at 410-841-3556.
Please be sure to have your completed application postmarked by April 5, 2019.
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