County Leaders React to Hogan Vetoing Major Education Legislation

On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed several bills passed in the General Assembly, explaining, “it would be irresponsible to allow legislation that requires increasing spending to become law.”

One of the bills Hogan vetoed included the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which was recommended by the Kirwan Commission. The Blueprint was multibillion effort to overhaul the state’s public school system and increase its funding over 10 years. It included recommendations like increasing teacher salary, expanding early childhood education, and several other projects aimed at addressing inequities in schools.

Montgomery County Council President Sidney Katz, Councilmember Craig Rice (the chair of the Education and Culture Committee), County Board of Education President Shebra Evans, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith issued a joint statement, expressing disappointment in the governor’s veto:

While we understand the fiscal challenges being presented by the global pandemic, we are extremely disappointed that Gov. Hogan vetoed The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. As enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in March, this historic education plan would have provided the funding necessary to create a world-class system of public education in Maryland. The legislation was clearly aligned with Montgomery County’s long-standing goal of ensuring that all Montgomery County Public Schools’ students have the resources and opportunities necessary to achieve excellence.

At this time of historic uncertainty, education is the one constant for many children and their families. The veto of the Kirwan Commission legislation keeps us from getting started with new measures at a time when they are needed the most. The legislation included the expansion of pre-kindergarten, increased teacher compensation, determined college and career pathways and differentiated funding to meet the needs of all students including those in high poverty schools. The supports and resources the legislation provided remain critical in closing the digital and education gaps that stand in the way of all students achieving at the highest possible level.

Cheryl Bost,  president of Maryland State Education Association, released the following statement calling for education reform:

The governor’s veto is a disappointing but hopefully temporary setback. Now more than ever, we need the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to create strong schools in every neighborhood by expanding career and technical education, providing additional support to struggling learners, and delivering a more prosperous future for our state. Our schools have been underfunded for years and recent weeks have only magnified the existing inequities that our students face every day that challenge their ability to succeed in school. We must come together to end these inequities that have underserved too many students and communities for too long. We urge the overwhelming number of legislators from both parties who voted for the Blueprint to override the veto at the next session of the legislature so we can deliver the support to our students that they desperately need.

Here’s how other Montgomery County elected officials reacted to the news on Twitter:

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