ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday issued the following statement:
“Education is my top priority, which is why we have provided historically high funding five years in a row, created a lockbox to require an additional $4.4 billion investment into our schools, and proposed a $2 billion school construction investment—the largest in Maryland history. No governor has ever invested more in our schools.
“I have tremendous respect for Dr. (William “Britt”) Kirwan (chairman of the Kirwan Commission) and have supported many of his well-meaning recommendations, some of which can be phased in over the next several years. Unfortunately, the Kirwan Tax Hike Commission is hellbent on spending billions more than we can afford, and legislators are refusing to come clean about where the money is going to come from. Even after more than three years of meetings, there is still no clear plan whatsoever for how either the state or the counties will pay this massive price tag.
“We cannot recklessly expand the state’s deficit to $18.7 billion, as these proposals require. And we will not impose billions in crippling state and local tax increases on Marylanders.
“Our students, parents, and teachers deserve more accountability and better outcomes, not pie-in-the-sky unfunded spending proposals.”
Currently, the Kirwan Commission says it would take nearly $4 billion to adequately fund programs like early childhood education, increase teachers’ salaries, and more – and while that seems like a lot, Kirwan says this funding is critical to create a better future for our students.
“If we up the quality of education then there are great benefits of this state. Incomes rise, there’s more tax revenue, incarceration costs go down, health care costs go down. Is Maryland willing to step up to the plate and do the right thing for it’s children or not, and we’ll have to see how that plays out,” said Kirwan.