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Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Shea Proposes Multi-billion-Dollar Education Plan

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Shea has released a 21-page proposal to change Maryland's education system, starting with expanded prenatal care to on-the-job training. That's according to our media partners at The Baltimore Sun.

The proposal emphasizing funding for poor areas, universal preschool, child care subsidies, after-school care and summer programs. It also includes tuition-free community college, higher pay for teachers, and a new K-12 curriculum that's closer to international standards.

The proposal does not have a timeline or a price tag for the plan. Shea says these details will come later after a state commission releases its price estimates for similar ideas.

The Democrat says under Governor Larry Hogan, education spending has not risen as quickly as the state's revenue. Shea promises if elected, e would make putting more cash into the education system his top priority and is willing to make "tough choices" to do it.

To save money, Shea says non-classroom costs like transportation, energy, and materials could be purchased through a statewide joint purchasing agreement. He says this could save about $100 million annually.

These proposals are the same ideas being discussed by the Kirwan Commission, a panel that is coming up with ways to overhaul education in the state. The commission plans to issue its recommendations along with a price tag by June.

A consultant for the commission says the state needs to spend $2.9 billion more each year on education. Some members of the commission say they expect the cost of their proposals to be less than that.

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