BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland State Board of Education this week announced that the Maryland State Department of Education has strengthened its staffing infrastructure, resulting in the lowest vacancy rate in a decade.
MSDE will have 96 job vacancies as of July 1, 2023. This number represents a relentless effort from State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury and his administration to staff the Department with top tier talent while also elevating current employees through financial and personnel opportunities across the MSDE.
“We are in the middle of an historic transformation to education in Maryland and MSDE is continuing to raise the bar on performance,” said State Board President Clarence C. Crawford. “These numbers are a testament to the commitment of the Superintendent and the entire Department to cultivate a dedicated team of professionals. Our employees are our greatest asset and through their work we are creating a transformative path forward in support of every Maryland student accessing an excellent and equitable education.”
At the start of his term in July 2021, Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury inherited 188 vacancies within the Department. After the State lifted its hiring freeze in winter 2021, the number of vacancies within MSDE reached a high of 258 (see table below). Despite the monumental task of filling these vacancies, coupled with a decade of position reductions to the Department leading up to the start of this administration and being tasked with implementing a new, $3.8 billion education reform initiative, the Department has been relentless in growing and retaining high-quality talent. The Department has cut its vacancy rate by more than 50% and significantly reduced its turnover rate from 22.8% in July 2021 to 14.7% as of May 2023 – a reduction of over 35%.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape Maryland’s education system. Transformative change on this scale demands a dedicated and high-quality team of individuals who are committed to the mission and vision of the Department,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury “To say ‘it takes a village’ is an understatement. We have reached a milestone with Department vacancies and our staff retention efforts, but we will not stop there. Our employees are the spark that makes this organization better every day. MSDE is growing, on the move, and leading the charge to bring a world-class education to every Maryland child.”
As part of the effort to grow and strengthen the Department’s workforce, Superintendent Choudhury successfully advocated for MSDE employees to receive a number of incentives that recognize the importance of their work. This was done in an effort to not only motivate and retain current MSDE staff but also to aid in recruiting and retaining talented individuals going forward. These incentives include promoting over 35 regular employees to higher-level positions, reclassifying 47% of employees in the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to a higher-grade position, and ensuring that more than 40% of staff received significant pay increases beyond statewide raises, particularly those in lower grades in DORS and in the Office of Child Care within the Division of Early Childhood. These are some of the lowest paid staff yet those who have statewide impact and interface directly with the public. The result has been nearly zero vacancies in child care licensing specialists and vocational rehabilitation specialists.
Throughout this effort to rebuild and restore MSDE’s infrastructure and operational capacity, the Department has kept the success of Maryland’s children at the forefront. Incoming and promoted staff at all levels of MSDE, particularly in middle and upper management, are now more reflective of the communities the Department serves. This is critical to ensuring there is equitable representation among the leaders who will be developing and implementing the flagship programs, initiatives, and strategies necessary to shape the future of education in Maryland.
MSDE will continue to make groundbreaking strides for advancing state education through collaborative efforts across the Department under the leadership of Superintendent Choudhury. The Department will continue this trend of rapid growth by leveraging urgent and rigorous recruitment efforts, and by implementing meaningful staff retention incentives and strategies. As MSDE and the Maryland State Board of Education continue the implementation of the once-in-a-generation Strategic Plan and Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, it is the perseverance, dedication, and hard work of the professionals at the Department that are the engine behind this transformation.
Job Vacancies at the Maryland State Department of Education
*Each date is reflective of July 1 of the given year.