CfM approaches legislative action with the understanding that few issues can be resolved or goals accomplished in the span of one legislative session. CfM shares information and strategy internally and with the community in order to achieve both long-term, big-picture goals as well as to be responsive to issues as they arise.
CfM presents its legislative priorities for the upcoming session every year at the annual Legislative Breakfast. In 2018-19 Committee for Montgomery focused on the recommendations of the Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission) and supported the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. As we continue to follow the Commission’s work, we will be especially concerned with the funding decisions going forward and on:
• Using more accurate assessments of the demographics and needs of our student population
• Protecting essential resources for Montgomery County
• Programming and services for the whole child
• Support that extends from “PK through J” – early education through higher education and job training.
CfM 2019 Legislative Priorities
CfM focused this past legislative session on monitoring and responding to legislation addressing Kirwan Commission recommendations to ensure that key questions on policy and funding are being addressed. This will occur through engagement and discussion with our delegation and their colleagues in Annapolis as well as at the local level with the County Executive and County Council. We will initiate and participate in discussions of proposed and existing legislation that address the following:
Ensuring that policies around Pre-K curriculum, outcomes, and access are multi-faceted and mindful of diverse contexts and needs in order to build and expand upon current early care and education infrastructures and to avoid unintended consequences
Advocating for a funding structure that is fair and equitable at both the state and local level
Seeking a reasonable state match that does not disadvantage Montgomery County
Ensuring that funding formulas do not burden local jurisdictions and rather focus on supporting overlooked populations such as Free And Reduced Meal (FARM), Special Education, and English as a Second Language (ESOL) students
Revisiting current funding mechanisms and their applicability for the future of education funding
Teacher Salary and Training
Ensuring that training and salaries are aligned with a sustainable, living wage and stay competitive to both attract and retain teachers
Funding that is fair and equitable at the state and local level
Identifying Revenue Source(s) for Kirwan
Calling for creative measure(s) to fund Kirwan Commission recommendations without burdening local jurisdictions unfairly
2018-19 CfM Issues Committee:
Henriot St. Gerard (Chair); Heather Carroll-Fisher, Elaine Chang-Baxter, Lorna Forde, Henry Hailstock, Devala Jenardan, Jonell Malone, Samir Paul, Shane Rock, David Rodich, Tricia Swanson, Crystal Townsend, and Charles Washington
Scroll down to see CfM’s Legislative Priorities from past years.
2018 Legislative Priorities
During the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session, CfM will strongly advocate for State resources that address the needs facing our community. The County’s increasingly complex challenges call for the State to address many of the growing educational and economic disparities facing Montgomery County. We will leverage the diversity of our membership to illustrate to the Maryland General Assembly that Montgomery County has a great and growing need for increased investment from the State and to address issues that affect every resident in Maryland.
CfM will focus on achieving our goals based on the following:
Invest in our future. Best in class higher education institutions, apprenticeship programs, and initiatives that clear the way for businesses to thrive will be the key to ensuring we remain the economic powerhouse of Maryland for decades to come.
Improve the County’s transportation infrastructure. Montgomery County needs to expand a variety of transportation options and secure investments in our current infrastructure.
Proactively address County and State-wide economic insecurity, which is the root of many social and economic justice issues.
Fulfill the needs of the growing K-12 student population. The current Montgomery County Public School population is over 162,000 students and counting; 30% of kindergarteners speak a language other than English as their first language and over 55,000 students receive Free and Reduced-price Meals. Montgomery County’s needs continue to outpace the proportion of the State resources we currently receive.
• Montgomery County needs to add jobs through supporting and retaining existing businesses and recruiting new companies.
• Investments in higher education will help prepare residents for jobs of the future. Legislative Action
• Support legislative efforts that encourage small and large businesses to stay or locate in Maryland.
• Increase operating funding for Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove for program development and expansion to meet workforce needs in the County.
• Education is a critical component of quality of life. Businesses and families seek great schools that help them grow and thrive in the County.
• Unmet needs in Montgomery County are nearly $500 million and affect every student, educator, school and community in our County.
• The Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission) will make recommendations to address unmet needs and advance policy reforms to improve and achieve an excellent school system. Legislative Action
• Maximize State contribution to County schools with formula enhancements that allow us to meet the needs of all students, especially to:
Provide universal Pre-K for all four-year olds and targeted support for economically disadvantaged three-year olds.
Expand career and technology education offerings to create more career pathways for students.
Increase school staffing to reduce class sizes, improve student instructional preparation time, alleviate the academic achievement gap, and target needs of gifted & talented, special education and economically disadvantaged students.
• The State must maintain its roads in the County with investments and alternative plans to aid with congestion relief that are critical to the economic vitality of the County.
• Metro relies heavily on local and State subsidies for its operating and capital budget and is the only system in the nation without a dedicated and consistent source of funding. Legislative Action
• Support a comprehensive multimodal increase in transportation capacity along the I-270 Corridor that will provide traffic congestion relief.
• Establish dedicated funding for Metro from MD, VA, DC. and the federal government.
• Invest in key corridors that impact mobility in and around the County.
ECONOMIC & SOCIAL JUSTICE
• Growing diversity in Maryland makes it important to ensure our community continues to welcome and respect all people.
• Addressing these issues will have positive impacts throughout the State. Legislative Action
• Support broad based initiatives that impact the County such as an adequate and affordable housing supply providing access for more residents.
• Review social, racial, economic and gender inequalities in the justice system.
2017 Legislative Priorities
Committee for Montgomery (CfM) is a coalition of leaders representing a broad cross-section of Montgomery County business, labor, education, civic, arts and humanities, and community-based organizations. We develop and support initiatives serving the broad interests of the Montgomery County Community rather than narrow interests of any single group.
During the 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session, CfM will strongly advocate for resources to address the needs facing our rapidly evolving community. The increasingly diverse composition of the County calls for the State's attention and resources in the areas of economic development, education, and transportation. Together, we will leverage the diversity of our membership to illustrate to the Maryland General Assembly that Montgomery County has a great and growing need for increased investment from the State. This session, our goal is to make the case that targeted economic return is necessary to support the changing dynamics of our County.
CfM’s focus on securing necessary levels of State funding for the County are based on some of the following: 1. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has added more than 2,000 students. Today, approximately 30% of incoming kindergarteners speak a language other than English as their first language. MCPS has more students in the Free and Reduced-price Meal (FARM) program than the entire student population of the District of Columbia public schools 2. Over 250,000 people travel on I-270 each day, making it the most congested roadway in Maryland. Investments to address this issue, along with alternative plans to aid with congestion relief are critical to the economic vitality of the County 3. Economic investment in our future – from supporting community colleges, apprenticeship programs, and initiatives that clear the way for businesses to thrive – will be the key to ensuring we remain the economic powerhouse of Maryland for decades to come
For the 2017 legislative session, CfM will advocate for a broad- based economic development platform, with specific emphasis on the following four areas that require critical immediate investment and attention from the State.