STRONG SCHOOLS MARYLAND RELEASES PROGRESS REPORTS FOR YEAR ONE OF BLUEPRINT
All Maryland Counties Met Minimum Requirements Year One, But There is Still Work to be Done
Baltimore, MD (June 29, 2022) – After months of searching, advocating, and analyzing, Strong Schools Maryland has found that all 24 local school systems in Maryland met at least the minimum requirements of the first year of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future’s implementation.
“We’ve seen some challenges in year one,” said Shamoyia Gardiner, a former classroom teacher and executive director of Strong Schools Maryland, an advocacy organization that led tens of thousands to fight to pass the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation. “But we expected that based on the historic and present actions of the Governor. We were pleased that locals have submitted the reports required by law, but there is still a lot of ground to cover between where we are now and the World Class Schools the Blueprint promises. We need implementation transparency to bolster buy-in from the community.”
The needs for improving accessibility are present throughout Maryland. Notably, out of 24 school systems, only 19 feature a page about The Blueprint on their website. Community workgroups appear in just 14 out of 24 counties, and half of local Boards of Education have yet to commit to a standing agenda item related for Blueprint updates.
Strong Schools Maryland, which has shifted its mission to monitoring the implementation of the Blueprint law, initially leveraged its Teams of 10 Network to assess the status of implementation in every county. When Team Leaders began relaying the difficulties they encountered in searching for Blueprint-related information from their school systems,, the organization shifted its approach to finding the answers.
“When it comes to the future of our state, our families, and our kids, good enough is neither good, nor enough,” said Allie Carter, a former classroom teacher and Lead Organizer for Strong Schools Maryland. “Our Teams know this is the floor, not the ceiling and even now we’re working to get every school district to a place that is accessible and accountable to the communities they serve.”
This summer, Strong Schools Maryland will be traveling to all Maryland counties to discuss these outcomes and the road to World Class Schools on the 2022 Tour for Maryland’s Future through September. Read the Progress Reports for your school district at strongschoolsmaryland.org/progressreports
Strong Schools Maryland advocated to secure the 2020 passage and 2021 veto override of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, a sweeping set of education policy and funding reforms for the state’s public schools. Now that the Blueprint is law, Strong Schools Maryland continues working to create a statewide movement that outlives the organization, champions equitable investment in public schools, demands accountability from power structures that impact public education, and equips individual leaders with the networks and experiences necessary to successfully advocate for themselves, their students, and their school communities in the long-term.