Public education in Maryland
Energy • Environment • Fracking • Public education • Higher education • School choice • Charter schools • Public pensions • State budget and finances • Taxes • Voting • Ballot access • Redistricting • Nonprofit regulation
- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Studies and reports
- 10 School districts
- 11 Education ballot measures
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
List of school districts in Maryland
Public education in Maryland
School board elections portal
The State Board of Education is composed of 12 members appointed by the Governor. With the exception of the student member (who serves for one year), all members serve four-year terms. Board members may serve two full terms.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Maryland State Board of Education adopted the standards on June 22, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Maryland compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Maryland as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for Maine's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||1,184||0.14%||0.42%|
|Two or more||31,381||3.67%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A majority of students in Maryland attend suburban schools. Approximately 77 percent of the state's students attend city or suburban schools, compared to approximately 23 percent who attend rural or town schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia), Maryland had the highest share of the fourth graders who scored at or above proficient in reading.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Maryland was on par with the national average at 3.3 percent in the 2010-2011 school year. The dropout rate was higher than the national average at 3.8 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Maryland
School choice options in Maryland include: charter schools and supplemental online learning programs. In addition, about 14.17 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Maryland state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 19.5 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 1.40 percentage points, or 6.70 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 20.9 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Maryland totaled approximately $13.4 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Maryland and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Maryland totaled approximately $13 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Maryland and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Maryland, the average salary increased by 8.4 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Maryland ranked 23rd overall, or "average," which was in the third of five tiers.
The main unions related to the Maryland school system are the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) and AFT Maryland. For the 2003 tax period MSEA had: $13.9 million in total revenue, $13.7 million in total expenses and $11.5 million in total assets. For the same period, AFT Maryland had: $1.1 million in total revenue, $1.1 million in total expenses and $337,687 in total assets.
List of local Maryland school unions:
- Maryland State Education Association
- AFT Maryland
- Baltimore Teachers Union
- Montgomery County Education Association, Maryland
- Teachers Association of Baltimore County
- Frederick County Teachers Association Of Maryland
- Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County
- Washington County Teachers Association
- Cecil County Classroom Teachers Association
- See also: Maryland government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Maryland Association of Boards of Education.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Maryland received a score of 85.9, or a B average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. The state's highest score was in "transitions and alignment" at 96.4, or an A average. The lowest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 83.1, or a B average. Maryland had the eighth highest score for "chance for success" in the country. The chart below displays the scores of Maryland and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Maryland||85.9 (B)||83.1 (B)||88.3 (B+)||83.7 (B)||85.2 (B)||96.4 (A)|
|Delaware||79.8 (B-)||68.5 (D+)||87.5 (B+)||74.4 (C)||80.0 (B-)||78.6 (C+)|
|New Jersey||88.2 (B+)||82.1 (B-)||75.5 (C)||67.2 (D+)||84.5 (B)||82.1 (B-)|
|Virginia||84.8 (B)||74.2 (C)||93.3 (A)||81.9 (B-)||76.1 (C)||85.7 (B)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
Maryland is generally made up of county school districts, which are administered by a county board of education; they are either appointed by the governor or elected. Baltimore City Public School System is considered a system that is dependent upon the municipal government. It is governed by a board of commissioners jointly appointed by the governor and the mayor. Fiscal requirements are provided by the city of Baltimore. The Baltimore City School System is not counted as a separate government, rather it is classified as a dependent agency of Baltimore.
- See also: List of school districts in Maryland
The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment:
School board composition
The composition of school boards in Maryland varies widely; they can be made up of anywhere from five to eleven members and either be appointed or elected. While there is no statewide standard, the board must adhere to the Maryland Public Ethics Law.
Members of appointed school boards may serve two terms, however elected school boards in Maryland are not subject to term limits.
No top enrollment districts in Maryland are scheduled to hold elections in 2015.
Path to the ballot
The qualifications for school board candidates in Maryland depend on the county. Persons wishing to file should contact their county office.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Maryland In-State Tuition Referendum, Question 4 (2012)
- Maryland Private School Scholarship, Question 18 (1972)
- Maryland Services for Private School Students, Question 14 (1974)
- Maryland state budget and finances
- Maryland Department of Education
- List of school districts in Maryland
- School choice in Maryland
- Charter schools in Maryland
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- Maryland State Department of Education (MSDOE)
- Maryland State Superintendent of Schools
- Maryland State Board of Education
- Maryland Schools and Districts (MSDOE)
- Maryland Charter Schools (MSDOE)
- Accountability and Assessment (MSDOE)
- Maryland Education Report Card
- Association of Independent Maryland Schools
- Maryland Virtual High School
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Maryland State Department of Education, "Superintendent's Biography," accessed May 20, 2014
- Maryland State Department of Education, "Maryland State Board of Education," accessed May 20, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
- Maryland State Department of Education, "Maryland's College and Career-Ready Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "Maryland State Education Association," accessed September 22, 2009
- Center for Union Facts, "AFT Maryland," accessed September 22, 2009
- Center for Union Facts, "State of Maryland," accessed September 22, 2009 (dead link)
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "Maryland," accessed July 11, 2014
- Maryland State, "Public Ethics Law," October 1, 2013
- Electronic School, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 9, 2014
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "Qualifications for Filing Candidacy," accessed July 14, 2014
State of Maryland
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Comptroller | Treasurer | Superintendent of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation | Chairman of Public Service Commission |