The 5 Pillars

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future poli​cies are grouped into five areas - called pillars. These are described further below. The Blueprint also includes a significant increase in funding for local school systems and for various State-funded categorical programs. For an overview of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future policies and funding increases, click H​ERE.

Although the policies are distinguished by pillars, the fundamental premise of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is that the policies are interrelated and must be implemented in tandem to achieve the intended outcomes and goals. As the ​policies are phased-in over time, the entire education system will be strengthened resulting in improved student performance. The additional resources that will be directed to students who need them most will help to close achievement gaps and expand student opportunities. Investing in family and community supports and full-day prekindergarten will greatly increase the proportion of kindergarteners who enter school ready to learn. A high quality curriculum and instructional materials coupled with a highly skilled professional educator workforce and more resources and timely interventions and supports for students will ensure that the vast majority of students are on track to be college and career ready (CCR)  by the end of 10th grade. The rigorous post-CCR pathways for students in 11th and 12th grade will allow students to explore career areas of interest and earn industry credentials and college credits (at no cost to the student or their family) before high school graduation     

Pillar 1 - Early Childhood Education

Investing in high-quality early childhood education so that all children have the opportunity to begin kindergarten ready to learn:  

  •  a significant expansion of full-day prekindergarten (pre-K), to be free for all low-income 3‑ and 4‑year-olds and available to all other 4-year-olds with fees set at a sliding scale, so that all children have the opportunity to begin kindergarten ready to learn;

  • public funding for both public-school based and community-based pre-K programs, with all providers receiving public funding required to meet rigorous quality standards;

  • a substantial increase in the supply of early childhood education teachers through tuition assistance and financial support for those pursuing credentials and degrees; and

  • an expansion of both Patty (Family Support) Centers for pre- and post-natal support and Judy Centers for early childhood education and family support; and full funding of the Infants and Toddlers Program to identify early and provide supports to young children with disabilities.

Pillar 2 - High Quality and Diverse Teachers and Leaders

Elevating teachers and school leaders by:  

  • making teaching a high-status profession by raising the pay and status of teachers, including a performance‑based career ladder, a minimum statewide salary, and salaries comparable to similarly educated professionals; 

  • substantially increasing the rigor of the teacher preparation curriculum with teachers completing a full year clinical experience organized and managed by teacher education and district partnerships;

  • redesigning schools to be places where teachers are treated as professionals with a system of incentives and supports – a career ladder – to continuously improve their professional practice and the performance of their students;

  • creating a leadership development system that prepares school leaders at all levels – State, district and school – to give them the vision, skills, and knowledge they need to implement the recommendations made in the Commission’s report and manage high‑performing schools; and

  • improving recruitment and professional development efforts to create and sustain a teaching faculty that better reflects the racial and ethnic makeup of the student body.

Pillar 3 - Career and College Readiness

Creating a world class instructional system aligned with college and career readiness (CCR) standards and post-CCR pathways including Career and Technical Education (CTE) by:

  • establishing an internationally benchmarked curriculum that enables most students to achieve “college‑ and career‑ready” status by the end of grade 10 and then pursue pathways that include IB, AP, or Cambridge diploma programs, early college, and/or a rigorous technical education leading to industry‑recognized credentials and high‑paying jobs;

  • developing a fully aligned instructional system including curriculum frameworks, syllabi, assessments, clear examples of standard-setting work, and formative assessments to keep students on track;

  • setting the College and Career Readiness Standard (CCR) to global standards that certifies that those who reach it have the required literacy in English and mathematics (and when practicable science) to succeed in first-year credit bearing courses in open enrollment postsecondary institutions (mainly community colleges) in the State; and

  • creation of a rigorous CTE system, including apprenticeships, that produces graduates ready and qualified to work in in-demand fields that will propel Maryland’s economic future governed by a new CTE Committee within the Governor’s Workforce Development Board in the Department of Labor.

Pillar 4 - More Resources for students to be successful

​Providing more supports to students who need it the most, including: 

  • broad and su​stained new academic, social service, and health supports for students and schools that need them the most; 

  • significantly increased funding for special education to improve outcomes;

  • additional funding for English Learners (EL) students, including EL family coordinators;

  • a new program for schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty, in addition to student-based funding through the compensatory education formula. The new Concentration of Poverty School Grants will fund community schools that coordinate needed social services, before‑ and after‑school and summer academic and enrichment programs, and expanded student access to school-based health services. In addition to a base amount for each school, the amount of additional funding would be based on the concentration of poverty in a school above 55%; 

  • Transitional Supplemental Instruction for Struggling Learners program to provide additional funding for one-on-one and small-group instruction for students who are not, or are not on track to, reading at grade level by grade 3 (secondarily students who are not proficient in math). These funds are provided over a six‑year period, ultimately phasing out as other components of the new education system are implemented, including more time outside the classroom for teachers to provide personalized instruction to students who need additional supports; and

  • Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports within the Community Health Resources Commission in the Department of Health to support the development of community partnerships to meet student behavioral health needs and develop models for delivering and expanding behavioral health services and supports to students in every school system.

Pillar 5 -  Governance and Accountability

The Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) is an independent board designed to ensure implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future as intended and achievement of the desired outcomes. The Blueprint requires the AIB to:


  • develop a comprehensive implementation plan for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and hold all State and local agencies involved accountable for carrying out their assigned roles;

  • monitor and report annually on the status of implementation in schools, districts and agencies across the State, including collecting, analyzing, and reporting disaggregated data on student performance, teacher preparation, and the use of funds to improve outcomes under the Blueprint;

  • evaluate the outcomes achieved during the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future against the goals of the Blueprint and the Commission, particularly in closing achievement gaps, and annually reporting on whether any changes should be made to ensure adequate resources and measurements for full implementation;

  • ensure that the newly created Expert Review Teams administered by MSDE and the new CTE Committee that will conduct school visits understand the degree to which the strategies used ​by the top performers are being used and make recommendations for improving implementation;

  • place 25% of new funds for a school or school district in escrow annually to be released before the end of the year unless the school or district is not successfully implementing the Blueprint or is failing to show satisfactory progress in student achievement; and

  • contract for an independent evaluation of implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, assess the State’s progress in implementation, and make any recommendations for changes needed to successfully implement the Blueprint.