Montgomery County MOE Concerns Voiced

The Gazette reported on a meeting held Monday morning in North Bethesda to discuss the need to change Maryland’s Maintenance of Effort (MOE) law.  Montgomery County elected officials expressed frustration with the penalty imposed by the law after the State Board of Education denied the County’s MOE waiver request earlier this year, even though it was supported by the county executive, county council, and local school board.  House Speaker Mike Busch stated that waiver reform would be considered during the upcoming Session.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) spoke of “this stupid law called the maintenance of effort. It is well-intended, but has a consequence that is unbelievable.” … Montgomery County has supported K-12 education “probably more than other [jurisdiction] in the state of Maryland,” Leggett said.  Montgomery’s delegation to the General Assembly plans to introduce a local bill exempting the county from the $79.5 million maintenance of effort requirement for fiscal 2010, which ends June 30… Lawmakers, including a state workgroup, have been considering how to rework the law, including the criteria for issuing a waiver, House Speaker Michael E. Busch said during his speech.  “So that’ll be one of the undertakings that we take up during the General Assembly session,” said Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis.

MOE waiver reform is one of MACo’s legislative initiatives for the 2010 Session.  Click  here for summary of MOE reform from the 2010 Issue Papers published by the Department of Legislative Services.

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