2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 62%
Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program was enacted in 2016 and began providing vouchers in 2016–17. This school choice program, the state’s first, provides vouchers to low-income students to attend private schools.
Charter Schools Score: 0%
Maryland earns an “F” in CER’s recent charter school law rankings. Districts are the sole authorizers in Maryland and the law provides districts with regulatory power. This approach has ensured that Maryland has a heavily regulated, comparatively small charter sector. Baltimore has a more robust charter sector than other locales, primarily because charter advocates were aggressive in opening new schools when the state’s law was passed and the district was more open to charters than most. Existing charters have expanded, but few new schools have opened in Maryland.
- Law passed: 2003
- Number of charter schools: 50
- Estimated charter school enrollment: 23,500 (up 24 percent from 2015-16)
- No caps on charter schools
- Virtual charter schools prohibited
- Charter schools are allowed to contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- Maryland earns 1 of 15 points for “authorizing.” The only entities that can authorize charter schools in Maryland are local school districts. The law does not exempt charter schools from regulations that traditionally apply to district schools and district authorizers rarely exempt charter schools from rules and regulations that apply to traditional schools. Maryland charter schools can apply to the state Board of Education to be exempt from district regulations but, in practice, charters in Maryland generally do not have autonomy they need to thrive.
- Maryland earns 1 of 15 points for “growth.” The state places no formal cap on the number of schools that can be authorized. However, because school districts are vested with authorizing and regulatory authority, there is an informal cap on charter school growth—districts are hesitant to authorize schools that will act as their competitors.
- Maryland earns 3 of 20 points for “operations.” Charters in Maryland are subject to all of the same regulations that apply to all public schools, including collective bargaining agreements, though they can apply to the state Board of Education for exemptions. Charter school teachers in Maryland are required to have traditional teaching certifications. These and the requirements above drastically limit charter school autonomy, innovation, and success.
- Maryland earns 4 out 15 points for “funding.” A 2007 Maryland Court of Appeals ruling reaffirmed the State Board of Education’s decision that the law requires charter students
be funded in a “commensurate” manner and at the same level as traditional public schools. However, school districts set charter school funding first, and appealing inequities in funding to the Board can be an onerous process. Funding inequities persist.
Teacher Quality Score: 68%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers F
Identifying Effective Teachers C-
Retaining Effective Teachers F
Exiting Ineffective Teachers F
Overall State Grade D+