Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will not sign a schools-accountability plan that state officials will soon send to the U.S. Department of Education to prove compliance with new requirements for federal K-12 funding.
The department’s approval of the plan is not contingent upon the governor’s signature.
Hogan informed U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Maryland Board of Education President Andy Smarick of his decision in writing this week, saying a state law that passed this year despite his veto had forced state officials to create a weak system for rating schools and limited their ability to address those that are low-performing.
In his letter to Smarick, the governor said the law “stymies any attempt to hold schools accountable for student performance and includes provisions aimed at preserving the status quo in failing schools.”
Del. Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery), who sponsored the measure, said Hogan is “re-fighting a fight that’s already over” and that the new law “makes sure schools are judged on more than just test scores.”
State officials expect to submit the accountability plan Monday to the U.S. Department of Education, which has four months to either approve it or send it back for changes.
Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse declined to comment on whether the governor wrote the letter in an effort to persuade federal officials to reject Maryland’s plan.
Donna St. George contributed to this report.