Kirwan Commission Aims to Change Maryland Public Schools, But At - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Kirwan Commission Aims to Change Maryland Public Schools, But at What Cost?

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Wicomico County voters choose to elect their school board members (WBOC) Wicomico County voters choose to elect their school board members (WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Taking a deeper look at Maryland's public schools and how to make them more competitive nationwide.

That's what a 22-person committee, known as the Kirwan Commission, is trying to lay out in a series of state recommendations. 

"They have an ambition to make the Maryland Public School System the envy of the entire country," President and CEO of the Greater Salisbury Committee Mike Dunn said.

The plan would look at improving graduation rates, funding universal pre-K and increasing teacher salaries.  Similar initiatives that Wicomico County has been trying to enhance in recent years, but this time it's at a state level.

But Dunn says that will come at a cost.  At this point, it's estimated to be between $3 billion and $4 billion over the next decade. 

"A lot of those funding numbers which are not final yet, are pretty scary, they're pretty steep," Dunn said.

Wicomico County Del. Carl Anderton says that's a tall order for the state's budget.

"There's going to be a time where they're going to talk about raising taxes and I don't think I support that," Anderton, a Republican, said. "I think it'll go over well in Annapolis, but it ain't going to go over well here."

Superintendent of Schools for Wicomico County Donna Hanlin says these new initiatives are crucial to improving our state school systems.

"Obviously the recommendations can have a great impact, as will the funding to what we're able to do, the resources we're able to provide in our school system. And the policies that govern our school systems," Hanlin said.

A meeting with local leaders and the Kirwan Commission members was held Tuesday night at Wor-Wic Community College. 

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