Improving Public Education
We continue to invest in the nation's #1 schools
In 2014, Maryland retained Education Week's #1 composite state ranking. Maryland was one of only five states in the past decade to decrease the poverty achievement gap by more than five percentage points. The College Board announced that Maryland students continue to be #1 in Advanced Placement (AP) success.
In the FY2015 budget, we continue to make record investments in our schools so that our students are not only able to compete nationally, but globally as well. From the early days of our Administration, job creation--and its primary ingredient, education--has topped our agenda. Together, during recessionary times, even as we've cut $9.5 billion in state spending, we've made record investments in K-12 public schools.
In this year's legislative session, we expanded pre-kindergarten services to 1,600 more children across Maryland and laid the groundwork for a further statewide expansion in comning years.
In addition, we invested $1.4 million for the Early College Innovation Fund to support creating and expanding early college access programs that provide accelerated pathways for students; and $3.5 million for the Digital Learning Innovation Fund to help local schools accelerate the transition to digital learning.
Building Schools & Creating Jobs
Watch a video of Governor O'Malley visit to Waverly ES in Baltimore City in April 2014:
It was just a few short years ago, that the Kopp Commission rightfully declared that we had a "crisis in school construction in our state." In 2007, our administration invested a record $400 million into school construction, so that our children can learn in state-of-the-art classrooms instead of temporary learning shacks.
With $275 million in school construction funding and upgrades for Maryland’s public schools in the FY15 budget, the administration is committed to greening our classrooms while supporting over 7,400 jobs. Since taking office, the O'Malley-Brown administration has invested nearly $2.7 billion in building, maintaining and greening our schools. The Administration's yearly school construction average of $335 million is 34% higher than the Kopp Commission's recommendation.
To ensure Maryland's #1 ranked education system continues to be the best in America, Governor O'Malley signed an executive order for a new study on public school construction. The Interagency Committee on School Construction, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Legislative Services will conduct the study and make recommendations by September 1, 2015. Read the executive order here.
Making College Affordable
Even in the midst of a global recession, we went four years in a row without a penny's increase in college tuition at Maryland's public universities--the only state in the country to do so. During that time, Maryland’s ranking for cost of tuition at public four-year institutions improved from 8th most expensive in the nation to 27th. Today, we're continuing that record of investment with a budget that holds tuition increases to a modest 3% while at the same time, invests in infrastructure at our institutions of higher learning--including our community colleges, which received $304.7 million in total funding in the FY15 budget, and a total of $548 million over 8 years.
Get the Skills2Compete
More than three out of every four projected job openings in Maryland require some type of post-secondary training or education. Skills2Compete is an initiative we launched to connect Marylanders with the resources they need to gain the skills to compete in today's job market. Do you need extra training? Check out the website today.
"The most important investment we can make as a State is in our most precious resource - our people. Working together, we can ensure that our companies and our workforce have what they need to compete and win in the New Economy."
- Governor O'Malley at the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Press Conference, June 2013
For the 5th year in a row, Education Week named Maryland's K-12 public schools #1 in America.
Despite the recession, Maryland is 5th in America in increasing funding per student since 2008.
Maryland has been a national leader in closing the income achievement gap.
Maryland is the first state in the nation to set specific STEM education standards.
Maryland students are graduating at a record rate, according to data from the class of 2013.
Alone among the 50 states, Maryland froze in-state tuition at our colleges and universities four years in a row and has held tuition increases to the lowest in the nation since the 2007 - 2008 school year. Recently, the Washington Post recognized Maryland as the best state in the nation at holding down the cost of college tuition.
Working with the University System of Maryland, we set a goal to create 300 new businesses out of the research done in our university labs.
Maryland Leaders Greet Students As They Head Back To School CBS Baltimore, August 2014
Maryland adds $6.9 million to school lunch program WBAL, August 2014
Partnership OK'd on Teacher Evaluations WBAL, June 2014
Maryland is the Best State in America at Holding Down the Cost of College Tuition Washington Post, June 2014