“Self-Created Hole”: Education Reforms Push Maryland Toward Financial Cliff

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Fitch, Moody’s Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings recently reaffirmed Maryland’s coveted triple-A credit rating. However, Moody’s downgraded the state’s outlook from stable to “negative,” citing significant concerns about looming structural deficits due to Annapolis’ out-of-control education spending. And while education spending soars, test scores are going in the wrong direction.

“The negative outlook incorporates difficulties Maryland will face to achieve balanced financial operations in coming years without sacrificing service delivery goals or adding to the weight of the state government’s burden on individual and corporate taxpayers,” Moody’s wrote in the report last month. This is the first time the credit rating agency has issued a negative outlook for the state since 2011, several years after the GFC meltdown. 

A looming fiscal cliff is primarily driven by edu programs, including the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reforms. When the reform was passed, the genius progressive lawmakers in Annapolis did not pass a funding mechanism. 

“It’s a self-created hole,” Republican State Senator Justin Ready told investigative journalist Chris Papst of Fox45 News’ Project Baltimore late last month, adding, “I’m disappointed but not surprised that we were downgraded to negative.”

Senator Ready’s district includes Carroll and Frederick Counties, located west of Baltimore. Several years ago, he attempted to warn leftist lawmakers in Annapolis that education spending would spark fiscal turmoil. However, his warnings were ignored while progressives were more focused on pushing woke policies. 

“We have a very high-taxed state and local governments, and so we were concerned. We saw this as being unsustainable, an unsustainable increase,” said Ready.

He continued, “Education spending was always increasing. This is just putting a rocket ship on it without the kind of accountability that’s needed.” 

Maryland’s fiscal projections show an expected $1 billion budget deficit by 2025, $1.3 by 2027, and more than $3 billion by 2028. Soaring deficits are a function of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, also called the Kirwan Plan, which pumps $30 billion in taxpayer funds into public education over ten years and then adds $4 billion per year after that.

Papst offers some very troubling news for residents:

“In order to pay for it, according to those statistics, the state would have to either increase the personal income tax rate by 39% or raise the sales tax by 89% or increase property taxes by 535%.” 

For years, Democrats in the state have advocated for increased education spending but rarely address test score performances that are heading in the wrong direction, an issue even the Washington Post could no longer ignore: 

Over the years, Papst’s team has led an effort to uncover fraud and corruption in the state’s public school systems. 

Fox News picked up on Papst’s reporting last year.

Some folks on X have called soaring education expenses a grift by the Democratic Party that loots taxpayers and enriches teachers’ unions that only fund progressive causes.

Why more Marylanders aren’t demanding accountability from progressives in Annapolis transforming the state into what could soon be the next Illinois is troubling. 

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