excellent public education
Rich Madaleno is committed to making an excellent public education available to every child in Maryland. Currently a member of the state’s Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education, and the father of two children who attend and have attended Maryland public schools since Kindergarten, Rich has made it his priority and will continue to make it his priority to improve the statewide quality of education for our children.
Rich’s goal is to make sure all young people “Thrive by 25” by improving the quality and accessibility of education at all levels, so that young people are ready to succeed in the career of their choosing. 

Thrive by 25

To achieve this goal, Rich will build a 21st century public school system for Maryland; increase resources to our schools; invest more in high-quality, early childhood education; recruit, support and retain high quality teachers, and pay them accordingly; build and support community schools; enhance efforts for at risk children; build curriculum benchmarked against international standards to enable students to be on track for college and career-ready programs; strengthen governance and accountability; and ensure students’ nutritional needs are met. He will develop and implement new, innovative programs to ensure college affordability, such as creating education savings accounts for children in kindergarten, and ensuring tuition-free community college and free college for families with incomes below $150,000.

Thrive by 25

Rich will alleviate the burden of student debt by allowing first-time home buyers to roll their student debt into state-financed mortgages and by establishing a Student Loan Ombudsman to address complaints by student borrowers about loan servicers. Rich will invest in the state’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and provide funding for remediation in coordination with improvements in the state’s educational offerings. Rich will initiate additional career and technical education and apprenticeship programs to provide critical training and experience.

Rich has a proven record of tackling educational challenges and has taken critical action to build high-quality, affordable public education.  A recognized leader on education in the General Assembly, Rich has spearheaded initiatives which have improved education in Maryland at every level, from Pre-K through 12 and beyond to college, graduate studies, and career and technical education.

Rich was a leader in crafting Maryland’s current landmark school funding plan which equitably delivers essential funding to elementary and secondary schools throughout the state. He successfully fought to keep that funding in place when Governor Hogan attempted to drastically cut it.  And he fought to keep state funding for the new BioMedical Building at the Universities of Shady Grove. He proposed providing matching state funds to assist local communities with needed school construction costs and proposed funding for community colleges and for STEM (Science, Technology, Education, Math) education. In 2018 he advocated for placing a constitutional amendment on this year’s ballot so that voters will decide whether or not to require the Governor to spend gaming revenues on public education. As Vice-Chair of the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee Rich was instrumental in crafting this year’s Senate budget, which makes a $200 million long-term commitment to funding the recommendations of the Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education in order to improve education and opportunity for all children.

In so many ways education beyond a high school diploma has become a “must-have”. In 2018 Rich championed the new law to provide eligible community college students free tuition for their associate’s degree or certificate program. He’s also pushed to increase public awareness of a program to help students who have completed part of a degree program to finish the degree and graduate.

Rich has proposed laws to help alleviate the burden of college costs on families and students.  He co-sponsored the laws which expand eligibility for tax credits for college savings plans, provide a refundable tax credit of up to $5,000 for those who have undergraduate student loans of at least $20,000, and require that Maryland contribute to eligible Maryland College Investment Plan accounts.

As Chair of the Senate Education and Business Subcommittee, Rich sponsored laws which resulted in a tuition freeze for Maryland college students from 2007-2010.

Rich proposed a tuition waiver program for students seeking vocational certificates and apprenticeship training at community colleges. He has has advocated for the creation of more programs to promote career and technical education as well as apprenticeship pilot programs.

Rich created and championed the Hunger Free Schools Act, which resulted in free breakfast and lunch for qualified students across Maryland, helping to ensure that students’ nutritional needs are met and that students are ready to learn. He also sponsored and successfully fought to increase funding for the Maryland Meals for Achievement Teens Act, which was enacted and allows secondary schools to provide breakfast after arrival time throughout the school including from Grab & Go carts. He co-sponsored the law which requires new or renovated schools to have gymnasiums for physical education instruction. Rich also co-sponsored successful legislation requiring awareness education of the risks to students of concussions and head injuries.

To improve younger students’ preparation for kindergarten, Rich co-sponsored the 2014 law which expands pre-Kindergarten programs to serve more of the students who need them most and has proposed supplemental state grants to fund pre-Kindergarten programs.  He co-sponsored our law that requires parents to be provided notice of eligibility for pre-Kindergarten programs. In 2018 he advocated for the new law requiring the Governor to annually appropriate $3 million for Head Start.

RIch sponsored legislation to ensure quality Internet access for students at primary and secondary schools throughout the state, an essential tool for a high-quality modern education.

Rich Madaleno has taken many steps to make sure our kids are safe in and on the way to our schools and on our college campuses.  He co-sponsored legislation to prohibit carrying firearms on public college campuses and to prohibit deadly weapons on public or private school property. He also co-sponsored the law that allows school bus monitoring cameras to record violations involving overtaking and passing school vehicles. He co-sponsored the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 to ensure students are safe from violence at school.

Rich is working to improve the quality of public education throughout Maryland’s school system.  He co-sponsored the law that calls for instruction in mathematics throughout high school and sets out specific graduation requirements and assessment of college readiness. He also co-sponsored the law establishing the Maryland program to encourage biliteracy in public high schools.

Rich believes that teachers should be treated as the professionals they are and should have a voice in improving education in Maryland. In 2018 he introduced and championed successful legislation passed by the General Assembly but vetoed by Governor Hogan to add two teachers and a parent to the membership of the Maryland State Board of Education. He proposed collective bargaining rights for community college employees. He co-sponsored the law which increases stipends to certified teachers and encourages mentoring and training of new teachers. He also co-sponsored legislation to study strategies to increase the number of minority teachers.

Senator Madaleno currently is a member of the Maryland State Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (The Kirwan Commission) which issued preliminary recommendations to further enhance educational quality and opportunity in our state through the development of innovative educational strategies and adequate and equitable funding for State public education.  He has also served on the International Study Group of the National Conference of State Legislators, seeking to ensure that each state offers a world-class education to its students.