Kirwan Commission advocacy: What you need to know

October 10, 2017

Formed in 2016, Maryland’s Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education (commonly called the “Kirwan Commission” after its chair, Dr. William Kirwan) is charged with recommending policies that will improve the quality of education in Maryland’s public schools, and to ensure that schools are adequately funded.  

In December, the commission will submit its recommendations to the Maryland General Assembly. The recommendations, and subsequent responses by the state legislature and the governor, have major implications for student achievement and Maryland’s economic future. Among the critical issues to be addressed is the fact that the current state education funding formula does not fully account for economic factors like inflation and poverty, which results in severe consequences for Baltimore City and other jurisdictions. In addition, any policies that flow from those recommendations cannot be fully successful if they ignore the effects and legacy of structural racism.  

That is why BCF is launching a campaign to advocate for adequate education funding and innovation, using racial equity as a framework. The campaign will use grantmaking, strategic communications, research, coalition-building, and lobbying to recommend policy solutions that promote opportunity, equity, and justice. We will work in close partnership with policymakers and with other advocates, in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. 

In the coming weeks, we will announce the appointment of an advocacy coordinator who will be responsible for mobilizing diverse stakeholders – including BCF’s donors, trustees, volunteers, and partners – in support of adequate education funding for our public schools and equitable education opportunities for our students. 

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