Charles County public school system recently announced the appointment of a coordinator of district innovation as the region’s educational systems continue to make changes under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
Christina Miller was chosen to head the position in a joint assignment between the Charles school system and county commissioners. Miller will guide the school system through the implementation of educational guidelines set out by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
“This not just an academic or curriculum focus” Charles public schools’ Superintendent Maria Navarro said. “This has implications on salaries and future funding.”
Miller will oversee the timeline of how the district meets the guidelines set forth by the sprawling program aimed at reforming Maryland’s educational system.
The Blueprint for Maryland’s future grew from recommendations presented by the Kirwan Commission in a 243-page report published in January 2019.
The legislation originally passed in 2020, but was vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in May of that year. Hogan cited economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for turning down the legislation.
“The pressures on state and local budgets from COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout may be significantly worse than any experiences since the Great Depression,” Hogan said in the letter outlining the veto.
In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly overrode the veto, establishing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future as law.
The commission outlines five policy areas for change in the Maryland Education system, with early childhood education placed at the first policy area for change.
Starting this year, schools are directed to expand voluntary prekindergarten to provide free, full-day slots for families with incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level. Increased funding for existing programs and the establishments of new Family Support Centers were included.
Other requirements include higher salaries for educators, the establishment of Career and College Readiness standards, revised funding formulas for english learner and special education students and enhanced oversight and accountability systems.
Miller’s appointment fulfills a Blueprint legislation stipulation requiring school systems and county governments to appoint a Blueprint Implementation coordinator by June 30.
Traci Chappelear-Thomas of Calvert public school system said that Kevin Michael, the current director of procurement and resource management, will head up implementation of blueprint programs in that county.
Michael’s full approval to head up Blueprint implementation hinges on a joint approval between the system and the Calvert County commissioners.
Jeff Maher, chief strategic officer for St. Mary’s public school system, will head up implementation of Blueprint programs in St. Mary’s County, according to the superintendent’s office.