Blueprint Report working hand-in-hand with the Maryland Educator Shortage Act
MARYLAND – Larger class sizes and a lack of educators is an issue that Maryland education officials and lawmakers are trying to tackle.
Schools across the state just submitted their Blueprint proposals which work hand in hand with the Maryland Educator Shortage Act of 2023. “We need quality teachers for our students to get a quality education,” says Senator Arthur Ellis.
In order to do that schools across Maryland submitted their Blue Print Reports set out to keep teachers in the classroom. “Not only increase the funding formulas, and the amount of money that our schools will receive, but it also had benchmarks, in areas of teacher quality, career technology education in pre-k and early services,” says Cheryl Bost, President of the Maryland State Education Association.
Lawmakers say they’re seeing the same issues brought to them. “Every September we hear reports of most of the school districts across Maryland saying they have unmet teacher needs and we just have to make a concerted effort to bring more teachers in from Maryland schools,” says Senator Ellis.
Senator Arthur Ellis is sponsoring the Maryland Educator Shortage Act of 2023 which also aims to make a more appealing work environment for teachers. “If you have teachers who are not overworked, smaller classroom sizes because you have more teachers then you have a better work-life balance for teachers,” he says. “Retention is a big item, raising salaries, lowering class size, providing additional counselors, social workers, a lot of those things are spoken to within the Blueprint,” Bost adds.
Cheryl Bost says this is just the beginning, “It’s a process of what’s in the plans and really making them dynamic, and making sure that they meet the needs of the Blueprint but they meet the needs of schools and as change is needed that occurs.”
The Maryland Educator Shortage Act 2023 passed the house. It’s currently in the Senate Education and Environment Energy committee. Senator Ellis says he’s confident 2 weeks is plenty of time to get the bill passed.
Also with this bill, teachers will be offered loan forgiveness scholarships for high school students and help paraprofessionals get certified.
Cheryl Bost adds the “Grow Your Own” program will help existing school faculty who are not teachers to become teachers. She says it can be costly out of pocket expenses for student teaching and other coursework can be expensive, and this initiative will provide the money to support them.