Board of Education Carroll Report Commissioners Featured Uncategorized

Board of Ed President Marsha Herbert Pressures Commissioners to Fund $6M State-Mandated Blueprint

Most Carroll Countians support Blueprint’s provisions for better teacher pay, but question whether other aspects of the law will actually improve children’s education.  

Carroll County Board of Education President Marsha Herbert gave an impassioned speech during Wednesday’s open session imploring parents to contact the county commissioners and demand that they cover the additional $6 million required to fund the initial phase of the state-mandated education Blueprint – a massive, top-down overhaul of public education passed in 2021 that “prioritizes equity”.  

The statement follows a joint budgeting session held on January 11th between the Board of Education and county commissioners, where commissioner president Ed Rothstein made public statements priming the community for potential tax increases to address the budget shortfall.

The multi-million dollar gap is just the beginning of what will be a $3.8 billion increase in education spending by state and local jurisdictions over the next 10 years.  

Carroll County State Delegate Chris Tomlinson recently called attention to the enormous price tag on social media and the impact Blueprint will have on state and local budgets.

“I unfortunately learned that the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future…is set to put the State in a structural deficit of almost $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2027 and $1.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2028. Not only can individual counties (especially Carroll) not afford Blueprint but the State Government was never and still not prepared to take on this financial burden either.”

Blueprint is Law

Herbert made it clear that “Blueprint is mandated by the state of Maryland. We are legally required to follow it.  We do not have a choice”.  

The sweeping package contains an array of state-controlled provisions on local jurisdictions including:

  • Mandatory pre-K education
  • Diversity benchmarks on teaching staff
  • Free college credit
  • Additional “equity” directed resources
  • Governance accountability

Counties across the state are just beginning to move beyond the buzzwords of the legislation to understand the impacts to their school systems, and are coming to terms with the erosion of local control.  

While it’s not clear if the measures will help students, the Maryland teacher’s union celebrates Blueprint as a win.  

Under the law, teachers will earn a salary beginning at $60,000 a year, an almost $15,000 increase over current rates. There will also be a cap on teacher classroom time to 60% of their workday.  

The requirements leave counties like Carroll with two options: increase staff to maintain current teacher-to-student ratios and resource levels, or reduce headcount.

Many in the community question how the state could enforce Blueprint if Carroll County doesn’t have the resources to implement it.  However, Herbert gave some stark warnings.  

“If we don’t get the funding that we need, this school system is going to look completely different in 2 years, and the changes that you’ll see will come at the cost of your children’s education…We will be allocating resources including teachers from one area of the county to another.”  

Herbert also made reference to the math resource teachers available at every CCPS school.  “That will not happen if we do not get the funding we need.”

Other Carroll Countians expressed support for increasing teacher compensation, but didn’t address the core concerns with education.  

In an opinion published in the Carroll County Times, one citizen questioned the increased spending.  “What do we get for all this increased spending and additional staffing? We get dismal English and math test results.”

On the Carroll Observer social media page, a citizen voiced frustration that Blueprint “fails to address many of the current education issues…some items not addressed at all:  learning recovery, teacher/staff shortages, facilities issues.”

The additional demands from the education system come as the county commissioners begin the FY2024 budgeting discussions, where tax increases are on the table in light of excess spending by prior commissioner boards.  

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.


Subscribe to the Informed Carroll newsletter and stay updated.