This article was originally published in the Salisbury News.

Important Legislation Would Expand Educational Opportunities for Students

Note: House Ways And Means Committee to Hold Hearing on HB 878 on February 28, 2017, 1:00 PM

“I believe that every child in Maryland deserves access to a world-class education regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in.” – Governor Larry Hogan, February 1, 2017

Governor Hogan Has Strongly Championed Expanding Educational Opportunities For Students And Their Families

Candidate Larry Hogan Stated That He Would “Push Very Hard” To Expand Charter Schools In Maryland. Hogan: “One of the things that I want to do is to try to bring better schools to the neighborhoods that don’t have better schools, and I’ve been a big proponent of charter schools. When I was serving as a cabinet secretary in the Ehrlich administration we passed the first charter school legislation here in Maryland. It was watered down by the legislature and then the O’Malley-Brown administration failed to implement it… But it’s had wonderful success in many places around the rest of the country, and it’s something that I would push very hard to accomplish.” (“Gubernatorial Debate,” YouTube, 10/18/14)

The Baltimore Sun Editorial: “We’re Heartened By Gov. Elect Larry Hogan’s Recent Remarks Suggesting He Wants To Make Charter Schools A Priority Of His Administration.” (Editorial, “More Choices For Parents And Students,” The Baltimore Sun, 12/21/14)

Governor Hogan Signed Into Law Legislation Strengthening Maryland’s Charter Schools

In 2015, Governor Hogan Signed Legislation Providing Greater Flexibility To Public Charter Schools. “During the 2015 legislative session, the governor introduced and championed legislation to improve and expand public charter schools in Maryland for the first time in nearly a decade. In May 2015, Governor Hogan signed into law Senate Bill 595, the Public Charter School Improvement Act of 2015, which provided greater flexibility to public charter schools.” (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Announces Maryland Charter Schools Week,” Office Of The Governor, 5/3/16)

The Baltimore Sun Editorial: Without Governor Hogan’s Desire To Strengthen Charter Schools, Reform Would Not Have Taken Place; Law Represents A “Modest Step Forward.” “Without Mr. Hogan’s influence, there almost certainly would have been no discussion of reforming Maryland’s charter school law, which is arguably the most restrictive in the nation. The General Assembly gutted many of the important elements in the governor’s legislation, but the final product represents at least a modest step forward and a basis from which Mr. Hogan can seek more reforms in the future.” (Editorial, “Hogan’s First 100 Days,” The Baltimore Sun, 4/27/15)

Governor Hogan Has Been Supportive Of Innovative Programs Granting Maryland Students Educational Choice

In 2016, Governor Hogan Introduced Legislation To Establish P-TECH Schools In Maryland.
Governor Hogan Signed The Legislation Into Law; Legislation Received Near Unanimous Support In Both Chambers Of The Maryland General Assembly. (“Senate Bill 376,” Maryland General Assembly, 4/26/16)

Governor Hogan’s P-TECH School Act Of 2017 Will Establish A Funding Mechanism For P-TECH Schools; Would Not Put Cost Burden On Students. “A P–TECH student may not be required to pay any cost that is related to enrollment and participation in the program, including tuition and mandatory fees.” (“House Bill 413,”Maryland General Assembly, 1/26/17)

Governor Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Commits $855,000 To Double The Number Of P-TECH Schools In Maryland. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)

Public Charter School Act Of 2017

Governor Hogan’s Proposal Establishes The Maryland Public Charter School Authority, An Independent Statewide Public Charter School Authorizer. “The Maryland Public Charter School Authority, established under § 9–103 of this title; or A county board… There is a Maryland Public Charter School Authority in the State. The Authority is an independent unit in the Executive Branch of State Government. The Authority is a body politic and corporate and is an instrumentality of the State… The Authority may authorize the establishment of public charter schools in any jurisdiction in the State.” (“House Bill 878,” Maryland General Assembly, 2/6/17)

Under The Governor’s Proposal The State’s Investment In Public Charter Schools Would Be Delivered Directly To Schools. “For each county board in a county in which a public charter school is authorized by the Maryland Public Charter School Authority established pursuant to Title 9 of this article, the State shall deduct from the State share of the foundation program any amount distributed directly to a public charter school pursuant to § 9–109 of this article.” (“House Bill 878,”Maryland General Assembly, 2/6/17)

The Governor’s Proposal Has Received Praise From Advocates In Favor Of Expanding Educational Opportunities

The National Alliance For Public Charter Schools Applauded Governor Hogan For His Proposal; Stated That The Governor’s Proposal Would Improve Maryland’s “Restrictive And Vague Charter Public School Law.” “This week, Governor Larry Hogan stood up for the students of Maryland when he announced the Public Charter School Act of 2017, which encourages greater innovation and creativity in the classroom. This new initiative works to fix Maryland’s current restrictive and vague charter public school law by creating an independent authorizer within the state, allowing for much needed increased autonomy. This commitment to increased autonomy and flexible hiring practices will help spur greater innovation and quality programs in all public schools, with a specific focus on under-funded charter schools in the state.”(Press Release, “National Alliance Applauds Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Announcement Of the Public Charter School Act Of 2017,” National Alliance For Public Charter Schools, 1/27/17)

MarylandCAN Expressed Their Strong Support For Governor Hogan’s Proposal; Noted That The Proposal Would Be A Critical Step Forward “Toward Ensuring A High-Quality Education For Every Maryland Student Regardless Of Where He Or She Comes From.” “Today, Jenese Jones, interim executive director for MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now, released the following statement in response to Gov. Hogan’s announcement of the Public Charter School Act of 2017: ‘The Public Charter School Act of 2017 is a critical step toward ensuring a high-quality education for every Maryland student regardless of where he or she comes from. Policies that prioritize identifying and expanding high quality educational options and autonomy are critical to our state’s economic well being and future. We have seen gains across the country and, as a native Marylander, I am encouraged by the opportunity to continue this essential work in Maryland.’” (Press Release, “MarylandCAN Strongly Supports Public Charter School Act Of 2017,”MarylandCAN, 2/6/17)


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