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Maryland Blueprint & AIB

Learn about AEMS's advocacy work on Maryland's historic "Blueprint for Maryland's Future" education reform bill. Explore the history of this bill and learn how you can get involved with shaping the future of Maryland's public education to ensure it includes robust arts education for ALL Maryland public school students.

About the Blueprint

The Blueprint for Maryland's Future is a landmark piece of education reform legislation. In 2016, Governor Larry Hogan appointed William ‘Brit’ Kirwan to lead the Commission charged with making recommendations for the reform of Maryland's K-12 public education system. In 2019, the Commission completed its work and made its recommendations to the General Assembly of Maryland. Among the transformational recommendations made by the commission which resulted in 2020's HB1300 were:

  • More wrap-around school services like school-based health centers

  • Full-day pre-K for eligible 3 & 4 year old

  • Literacy intervention for K-3 studentsFunds needed to support students experiencing poverty & attending schools with concentrations of poverty

  • Better pay, more planning time, and a new career ladder system for teachers

  • Create more assistance to help teachers get certified and provide better teacher training.

  • More pathways for to be college and career ready by graduation, for all students, including English Language Learners and students in Special Education programs.

On March 17, 2020, the Maryland General Assembly passed The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future with an overwhelming majority. Despite this affirmation by the legislature, and having been responsible for empaneling the Blueprint Commission, on May 7, 2020 Larry Hogan vetoed the Blueprint, citing the economic downturn due to COVID-19. On February 8, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan's veto, passing the Blueprint into law. The law called for the creation of an Accountability & Implementation Board to ensure the faithful execution of this landmark reform bill.

About the Blueprint
About the AIB
About the AIB

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability & Implementation Board (AIB) is an independent unit of State government that was created to ensure that the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is implemented as intended. ​The AIB holds State and local governments accountable for implementing the Blueprint with fidelity and evaluates whether the Blueprint’s outcomes are being achieved. The Kirwan Commission organized its recommendations around five policy areas, which are now known as Blueprint Pillars:

  1. Early Childhood Education

  2. High-Quality and Diverse Teachers and Leaders

  3. College and Career Readiness

  4. More Resources for Students to be Successful

  5. Governance and Accountability

On December 1, 2022, the AIB adopted a Comprehensive Implementation Plan to guide State and local entities in implementing the Blueprint for Maryland's Future and achieving the intended outcomes. AEMS had a key role in providing feedback to ensure that the interests of the arts were represented in the final plan. Providing a robust block of testimony and targeted suggestions to include the arts, AEMS was able to accomplish the following changes finalized in the Comprehensive Implementation Plan:

  • In Pillar 3: a change was made to specifically identify Foundation formula funds and Concentration of Poverty grant funds to meet the requirements of subjects areas listed in COMAR, including the arts. The language includes the verbatim words: "including the arts."

  • In Pillar 4: arts programming is specifically listed as one of the wraparound services to be provided by community schools.


In developing the comprehensive plan, the AIB incorporated​ input from the public, interested stakeholders, and key entities charged with implementing the Blueprint law, including:

  • State Board of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education

  • Governor’s Workforce Development Board and the Career and Technical Education Committee 

  • Maryland Higher Education Commission 

  • Higher education institutions, including community colleges and universities

  • Local education agencies and boards of education

  • Juvenile Services Education Board​

  • Teacher preparation programs

  • Local workforce development boards

These agencies are also responsible for creating their own Blueprint implementation plans that are aligned with the ​Comprehensive Plan. The Blueprint Implementation Plans must be submitted to AIB by March 15, 2023, for review and approval.

Take Action!
Take Action!

Advocacy works! With the help of advocates like you, AEMS was able to make significant changes to incorporate arts education into the AIB's Comprehensive Implementation Plan! Our work isn't done, though! There are important ways to make your voice heard and stand up for the arts. Here are ways you can take action!

Give the AIB Feedback!

The AIB has created a form to provide a space to share information with the AIB broadly. Feedback can be about anything pertaining to the Blueprint, its implementation, success stories, or anything you believe the AIB needs to know. You may submit completely anonymously, or you may provide your contact information. 

Tell Local School Districts to Include the Arts in their Local Implementation Plans! (DUE 3/15/23)

We need your help again advocating for the arts at the local level! Now that the statewide implementation plan is in place, each of Maryland's 24 school districts are drafting their own district-level Blueprint implementation plans. These draft plans are due March 15th.


Drafting these plans is complex and important work. To help ensure that the arts are represented and uplifted in local implementation plans, AEMS has compiled a list of recommendations for local Blueprint coordinators.


When not explicitly prioritized, the arts often take a back seat to other subjects and priorities despite their disproportionately positive impact on children. We need your advocacy help to avoid the unintended consequences of de-investment in the arts if they are not explicitly uplifted and protected. Education without the arts is NOT a world-class education! 



  • Use the button below or links from the table to view a template email to your district's local implementation coordinator. Copy and paste that template, fill in the personalized fields and send with the Subject line: Blueprint Recommendations for Arts Education

  • Attend public hearing

  • Join AEMS' new slack space to discuss with other advocates from your district.

Implementation Coordinator(s)
Email Template
Local Blueprint Page
Somerset County
Linda Johnson, Jill Holland
Worcester County
Natalie Bennett
Wicomico County
Micah Stauffer
Washington County
Dr. Kara Burhans
Talbot County
Dr. Helga Einhorn
St. Mary's County
Dr. Jeffrey Maher, Sarah Lorek
Queen Anne's County
Dr. Matthew Kibler
Prince George's County
Dr. Kara Libby
Montgomery County
Janine Bacquie
Kent County
Dr. Karen Couch, Pat Merritt, Tom Porter
Howard County
Tim Guy
Harford County
Katie Ridgway
Garrett County
Dr. Nicole Miller
Frederick County
Dr. Sarah Sirgo
Dorchester County
Tim Brooke, Regina Teat
Charles County
Christina Miller
Cecil County
Wes Zimmerman, Megan Frunzi
Carroll County
Angie McCauslin, Jon O'Neal
Caroline County
Dr. Tara Downes
Calvert County
Anthony Navarro, Joe Sampson
Baltimore County
Dr. Melissa Whisted
Baltimore City
Sandi Jacobs, Melissa Broome
Anne Arundel County
Dr. Shannon Pugh
Allegany County
Wendy Main
Tracking Impact

The contributions of your time, advocacy, and testimony makes a huge difference! Here are some of the ways we are collectively making a difference in the unfolding of the Blueprint's implementation.

Comprehensive Implementation Plan

Thanks to some truly impressive mobilization, AEMS and arts education advocates were able to make a show of force for arts education! As the AIB prepared its final implementation plan, they received 446 pieces of written testimony, 52% of these mentioned supporting the arts! Arts education advocates also made a remarkable showing at the spoken testimony block, as reported by Maryland Matters. All of this resulted in changes to the final plan which incorporated AEMS's feedback and specifically include the arts and COMAR:

  • Pillar 3: College & Career Readiness

    • ​Edit to 3.1.1(b): Blueprint law specifically authorizes the use of Foundation formula funds and Concentration of Poverty grant funds (through FY 27) for LEAs to meet the requirements of Code of Maryland Regulations: Title 13A, Subtitle 04, SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, including 13A.04.16.01, which includes the arts.

  • Pillar 4: More Resources for Students

    • Edit to 4.4.2(b): "Arts programming" added to list of wraparound services for community schools.

  • Pillar 5: Governance & Accountability

    • Suggestion for 5.2.1(a): ERTs should also have diversity of subject area expertise, with at least one arts representative.

      • The arts aren't explicitly mentioned, but a nod to our feedback was included: "MSDE should consider selecting ERTs with a wide range of subject area expertise."

Local Implementation Plans

AEMS has sent our suggestions for Local Implementation Coordinators to each of Maryland's 24 school districts and has mobilized our network of arts education advocates to also submit our feedback to their local Implementation. We're already beginning to hear back from some who have received our feedback! If you have submitted feedback and have received confirmation or a response, please email us at so we can add your contribution to our list!

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