College Of Journalism Goes “Behind The Blueprint”


As part of a project called “Behind the Blueprint,” the Local News Network at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism is sharing a series of stories related to Maryland educational reform and its hefty cost.

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future was a sweeping piece of legislation passed in 2021 to re-establish Maryland as one of the nation’s best states for education. The blueprint is increasing education funding by $3.8 billion each year over the next 10 years, but advocates say it will enrich student experiences and accelerate student outcomes.

The Local News Network plans to release several stories, but here is an abbreviated summary of its findings regarding Anne Arundel County, compiled by journalism student Alex Marek.

State Funding Per Pupil

The state’s per-pupil funding for Anne Arundel County Public Schools increased 43.2% between Fiscal Year 2019 and Fiscal Year 2024. That’s the second-largest increase among all 24 Maryland public school districts.

Per-pupil funding is based on a formula that utilizes the district’s total enrollment and the characteristics of its students. It’s too soon to know what the per-pupil funding level will be in the later years of the blueprint.

The district’s initial Blueprint Implementation Plan is available online, as is feedback from the state Accountability and Implementation Board – which oversees the blueprint.


  • The district has a good plan to expand full-day pre-K to 3- and 4-year-olds, including for students learning English and those with disabilities.
  • Anne Arundel has a monitoring team that reports annually on workforce diversity and supports professional development; the district uses fair rubrics and questioning practices to reduce implicit bias in interviews.
  • Anne Arundel County has one of the largest numbers of National Board Certified teachers in the nation due to its recruiting and staff support efforts.
  • The district integrates career counseling into the school curriculum for all middle and high school students.
  • The district redesigned its general education curriculum and included special education teachers in developing curriculum resources for all teachers.
  • Anne Arundel is on track to report the district's budget at the school level, as the blueprint requires.

Needs Improvement

  • The district does not currently offer private providers many opportunities to participate in joint professional development activities, but says it plans to do so in the future.
  • Nationally Board Certified teachers are not being best utilized in schools and should be given more teacher leadership roles and responsibilities.
  • Anne Arundel County does not yet have comprehensive literacy or math plans, but they are being developed.
  • Reading and math coaches are not typically in the classroom teaching students during the day and should be present to support teachers.


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