Maryland’s educators are without question the foundation of a successful public school system. As an educator, John knows firsthand what it takes to recruit, support and retain a strong, diverse educator workforce. Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have been like first responders, helping our students and families through it, even with difficult challenges like remote learning. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future lays the foundation for supporting and protecting educators, but there is more work we can do as a state to ensure Maryland has the best, most diverse educator workforce in the nation. More than 50% of students are Black or Latino in Maryland yet only 3% of the state’s teachers are Latino and only 17% are Black.
John’s plan will help educators recover safely from the pandemic, make certain they have a seat at the table for all decision-making, are highly-respected and fairly compensated, adequately prepared, fully supported and reflect the growing diversity of our state.
As Governor John will:
- Phase in a minimum starting salary for teachers of $60,000 by 2023 and fully support and implement the career ladder framework in all districts across Maryland to provide pathways for educators to grow and be compensated.
- Increase salaries of education support professionals and invest in their career development.
- Increase the amount of loan forgiveness to teachers working in high-need schools and eliminate more student loan debt from Maryland educators who serve communities with families from low-income backgrounds.
- Address Maryland’s chronic teacher shortage by increasing the amount allocated to Maryland Teaching Fellows under the Blueprint to $20 million over the next five years to support 1,000 future teachers annually through this promising program, which covers 100% of tuition, fees, and room and board for a student at a public senior higher education institution in Maryland.
- Improve the diversity of Maryland’s educator workforce, starting with enhanced recruitment of teachers of color in subject areas where they are particularly underrepresented and doubling to $2 million annually the amount the Blueprint pledges to the Maryland Higher Education Commission to increase the quality and diversity in Maryland’s teacher training pipeline, and investing an additional $500,000 in developing a pipeline of bilingual teachers.
- Invest in a new HBCU-focused educator recruitment and preparation program. In 2015, Maryland’s HBCUs produced only 4.4% of our state’s teachers from Maryland Approved Programs; nationally, HBCUs produce approximately 50% of Black teachers, leaving our HBCUs as a huge source of untapped potential. John’s plan will invest $4 million annually in starting and sustaining a robust HBCU-focused teacher recruitment and preparation program to bring more Black Marylanders into the teaching profession, and pay for their education if they make the commitment to teach in Maryland communities for at least four years. Finally, the Student Support Corps can also be a key to diversifying the profession, creating pathways for Marylanders of all backgrounds to enter the educator workforce.
- Incentivize districts to innovate to make teaching an attractive and manageable career while supporting opportunities for teacher-leadership in the higher rungs of the career ladder set forth by the Blueprint. John’s plan would treat teachers with dignity and respect by encouraging additional time and flexibility for planning and other tasks.