Maryland’s next governor and public education – The Washington Post

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Education

Listen11 minComment on this storyCommentGift Article(Correction: An earlier version said the Republican gubernatorial candidates did not answer the Post’s questionnaire. Three of the four did not; Robin Ficker did.)Virginia’s gubernatorial campaign last year made national headlines when Republican Glenn Youngkin ran and won with the platform of a conservative culture warrior: giving “power” to parents in education, limiting what teachers can say about race and racism, banning books about sensitive issues. He has stayed in the spotlight with practices such as setting up a controversial “tip line” so parents can report teachers who are supposedly promoting “divisive practices.”Maryland’s current political campaign for a new governor has failed to garner the same kind of national attention that Virginia’s did — even with one Republican candidate who featured “parents rights” legislation in her first campaign advertisement and another GOP candidate who the state’s current leader, Gov. Larry Hogan (R), called a “QAnon wackjob.”AdvertisementBut the consequences of the election are no less important for the state than they were in Virginia. The results will affect the implementation of historic legislation passed last year to transform public education and child care over a decade, as well as the near future of school “choice” and other issues affecting young people.Voters are now engaged in early voting before Tuesday’s primary ballot at a time when teacher morale across the country is at its lowest in decades. Some Maryland districts, including Prince George’s County, are struggling with teacher shortages and recruitment for the fall; educators have reported an increase in student mental health issues; mass shootings at schools around the nation have increased security concerns; and new coronavirus variants threaten a new wave of infections this fall.The central school reform program in Maryland is the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, landmark 2021 legislation passed over Hogan’s veto and designed to overhaul K-12 public education and child care over the next decade. It calls for increasing education funding by $3.8 billion each year over the next 10 years — but whether all of the funding will be approved remains a question. Maryland now has a projected budget surplus of $7.6 billion by the end of 2023 — but the blueprint has funding only through 2026 or 2027.AdvertisementThere are 10 Democratic gubernatorial candidates on the primary ballot: Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot; Wes Moore, former nonprofit executive, author and combat veteran; former U.S. education secretary John B. King Jr.; former U.S. labor secretary Tom Perez; former Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler; former Prince George’s county executive Rushern L. Baker III, who suspended his campaign last month; former gover …

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