Senate OKs $700M plan for schools 

2-year program of extra funding now goes to House

By Pamela WoodThe Baltimore Sun

Maryland senators voted Wednesday to approve a two-year plan to send more than $700 million in extra funding to the state’s public schools.

The bill, called the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” now moves to the House of Delegates, where it is expected to move swiftly in the final days of the General Assembly session.

The Senate vote was 43-1.

Sen. Paul Pinsky, chairman of the Senate’s education committee, described the bill this week as a first step toward a decade’s worth of increased investment intended to improve the state’s school system.

“You should look at this as a short-term piece, focusing on the first year or two of implementation,” Pinsky, a Prince George’s County Democrat, told senators.

The bill calls for the state to spend an additional $355 million on public schools in fiscal year 2021, the budget year that will run from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

It also calls for $370 million in fiscal 2022, plus an additional $130 million if the General Assembly passes laws that will bring in more revenue to the state.