Our Education Work Group continues to pursue the goal of ensuring that the provisions of the Blueprint for Progress are implemented equitably, especially in the City and the surrounding counties. One of the key provisions is the Concentration of Poverty Grant Program.
The first-of-its-kind Blueprint Concentration of Poverty Grant Program was developed to fund the provision of wraparound services, which will largely occur through the expansion of Community Schools throughout the state. Qualifying schools will receive grants at varying levels, according to concentration of student poverty over the 10-year implementation period, until eventually all schools with a concentration of student poverty of 55% or more receive the increased investments. The annual grants are provided in two categories phased in one after the other: personnel grants of $250,000 per school to hire a community school coordinator and a school health services practitioner and, a year later, per-pupil grants of up to $3,200 per student.
Due to the economic impact of the pandemic as well as challenges collecting data in 2020, we expect that the 2020 numbers are likely inaccurate due to the undercounting of students experiencing poverty, particularly students from immigrant and/or mixed-status families and students experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
This means that schools which may be eligible to receive funding based on the economic status of students’ families, including Blueprint and federal funds, may not be recorded as being eligible “on paper”. This is not a new issue in Maryland, and the Blueprint requires MSDE to report to the AIB (Action Accountability & Implementation Board) this fall on the progress they’re making to get a correct count of all students. This is why having accurate, easily accessible data is so important.
Although there was an announcement of 9 candidates to serve on the AIB, Gov. Hogan has concerns about the lack of Latino and multilingual representation from counties in eastern, western and southern Maryland and has requested a new slate of candidates. The Blueprint does not explicitly grant the Governor this ability. Until a decision is reached about the legality of the Governor’s request, the Blueprint will continue to hold the Governor to the current October 1,2021 deadline to appoint seven AIB members from the existing list of nine.
Here are key dates in October 2021 for the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future:
October 1 - Deadline for Governor Hogan to appoint the seven-member Accountability and Implementation Board from the nine candidates submitted to him from the AIB Nominating Committee.
October 1 - Local School Systems submit the total number and percentage of students at each school eligible for free and reduced meals for Fiscal Year 2021 (last school year). This information is very important when determining a school’s eligibility for certain funding programs.
Recruiting! Looking for Team Leaders as Blueprint Implementation Coordinators. Teams of 10 across the state are taking action by attending their local board meetings and requesting information about the status of implementation. Team leaders gain access to breaking updates, informational materials,
meetings w/education experts, and an ever-growing network of over 240 Team Leaders across the state. We hope some BRIDGE Maryland members will volunteer for this important role.
Contact us to join this workgroup! firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Scott-Dishroom and Rev. Denise Norfleet-Walker, Co-leaders