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The Bridge to Excellence Master Plan, required by Maryland legislation and updated annually, links school finance directly to decisions about improving student learning. School systems are required to integrate state, federal, and local funding into the Master plan and must demonstrate alignment between budgets and academic programming.
Beginning in 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requires that school systems integrate their Race to the Top Scopes of Work into the Master Plan structure.
MSDE comprehensively reviews each school district's Master Plan Update to ensure that the narratives, action plans, and respective budgets meet the goals of Maryland's Bridge to Excellence Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind), and the Race to the Top reform areas.