K-12 Budget: $6.5 billion
Maryland, the number four state on this year’s Quality Counts, ranked fifth on the K-12 Achievement Index, but the state ranked 33rd on equity in academic performance. The equity score incorporates factors like the gap in test scores between students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches and their peers who do not.
The state’s educational strength is buoyed by strong performance on the Chance for Success Index, where it ranked eighth. It ranked sixth for school finance overall, and fifth for finance equity.
State leaders have tangled in recent years over the path forward in improving Maryland’s education system.
In 2018, a state commission recommended an ambitious list of changes, including: expanding prekindergarten programs, creation of school-based health centers, grants for high-poverty schools, and teacher pay raises. It’s a plan that would add an additional $4 billion in education spending to the state’s budget by 2030.
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, let a bill implementing the first phase of those plans go into effect in May without his signature.
In a letter to state lawmakers, Hogan said he was concerned about how lawmakers would pay for the plan in the future, and he encouraged more academic accountability to ensure the increased spending would lead to academic gains.
For more about Maryland’s Quality Counts score, click here.
Note: Enrollment is for the 2018-19 school year, and budget figure is for the 2019 fiscal year.
Research assistance from intern Héctor Alejandro Arzate.