- Three casino operators have generated and donated more than $542 million meant to facilitate education reform efforts in the state of Maryland
- State Governor praised the gaming businesses’ strong performance and show of good will
- Educational reforms in the state, recommended by the Kirwan Commission, require a total of $725 million
About 30 percent of the combined profits of MGM Grand National Harbor, Maryland Live Casino and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has been contributed to the state in an attempt to ease educational system reforms in Maryland.
The Kirwan Commission’s Education Reform Project
In order to get a grasp of the larger picture here, one should be aware of the conditions under which the state of Maryland came to design the plans for the necessary educational reforms and what they entail. Long story short, following the dissipation of the state’s collaboration with the Thornton Commission back in 2008 – which came to pass due to the recession at the time – the state’s governor, Larry Hogan, called for the formation of the 25-member Kirwan Commission in 2016.
At that time Maryland was named to be the 15th state in regards to regression in education funding. William Kirwan, chair of the commission, recently pointed out that concentrated areas of low-income students had received less funding than the school in more well-off districts.
The Kirwan Commission created a plan for re-establishing order in balanced funding, which is supposed to set-off in 2021. The suggestions for educational reforms entail additional funds for tutoring, the provision of technical and trade education, improving teacher salaries, raising the standards for college and career preparations, free full-day preschool and allocating funds for schools in lower-income areas.
The estimation of the entire project stands at about $725 million, necessary for the first year. For the purpose of collecting the necessary funds, the state’s lawmakers and government authorities decided to create a so called lockbox, which will serve as keeper to the required funds.
Profits Donated by Casino Operators in Maryland Make Up for More than Half of the Funds Necessary for Educational Reforms
The year of 2019 is proving to be one, which will go down in the casino industry history, especially in the US.
Maryland’s top three casino establishments – the MGM Grand National Harbor, the Horseshoe Casino and the Maryland Live Casino – have donated more than half of the required amount for the fiscal year of 2019.
In a recent press release “Little America’s” governor, Larry Hogan, praised this charitable deed, saying that: “Education is our top priority, and with the passage of the lockbox amendment last year, our students and classrooms will benefit from a contribution of nearly $543 million to the Education Trust Fund.” The governor has pledged to place education as the top priority of the state more than once. Earlier this year he released $255 million in addition for funding the state’s schools, which makes for a total of $32 billion invested in young minds since he has taken office.
The director of the Maryland state lottery pointed out that the casino business in the state is reaching a point of maturing and that the state lottery provides significant contributions to the lockbox, but is by far not the bulk of the required funding. The lottery and gaming agency’s report, released Monday, reveals that the education trust fund has grown by some $46 million in comparison to 2018.