During the first of two town hall-style meetings Monday, Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia McCabe said staff will discuss updated class size estimates based on CCPS budgetary constraints related to implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
In February Board of Education President Marsha Herbert hinted at big changes in how county schools will operate as a result of the Blueprint.
“I can tell you now that your child will be affected and you’re not gonna like it,” Herbert said.
The first town hall meeting Monday will be held at 6 p.m., at the media center inside Century High School, 355 Ronsdale Road, Sykesville.
The Blueprint’s list of mandates — including free community college dual enrollment for high school students, expanded pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds from low-income households, and salary boosts and professional development incentives for teachers — must be fully in place within the next 10 years, but implementation begins now.
McCabe and Herbert both have said the restrictive nature of Blueprint’s funding formula will force major challenges in Carroll County public schools.
“This means many of you will be experiencing fewer resources and larger class sizes,” Herbert said in February. “And that is not what we’ve had in Carroll County — large class sizes. Some schools will benefit greatly, but that will come at the cost of shifting resources, which means some schools will suffer.”
McCabe said almost every concern she and other school system officials have about the Blueprint comes down to issues with the school system’s budget. Blueprint’s rollout includes a new funding formula that makes it more difficult for the Board of Education to fund items that it considers priorities, McCabe said. This will likely act as a catalyst for a seismic shift in how Carroll County schools operate, she added.
“We are going to have to implement Blueprint, and in doing so that’s going to mean a lot of cuts at certain schools and a lot of additions at other schools,” McCabe said.
Enacted in 2020, the 10-year Blueprint program is designed to reform Maryland’s early childhood, elementary and secondary schools so every student — regardless of geography, household income, race, ethnicity, gender, language spoken at home, special needs or other characteristics — will graduate and be ready to enter the workforce or higher education.
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CCPS submitted to the state on Wednesday its preliminary plan for implementing the Blueprint for the upcoming school year.
[ Here’s what you need to know about how the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will play out in Carroll County ]
The Blueprint presents numerous opportunities and challenges for the public school system, McCabe said, and she encouraged parents and interested community members to come to the first town hall session Monday.
“I strongly encourage parents and members of the community to attend these town halls to learn more about the tremendous impact that Blueprint requirements will have on our school system, including larger class sizes in many of our schools,” McCabe said.
Each town hall meeting will begin with a brief presentation, followed by a discussion with McCabe and other school system staff members and a question-and-answer period.
School board members Donna Sivigny and Herbert both have said they hope the town halls are well attended so that more people will have a better understanding of what Blueprint will mean for the school system.
The second town hall meeting will be held at 6 p.m., April 19, in the media center of Winters Mill High School, 560 Gorsuch Road, Westminster.