Twist Included in Pension Shift – MOE Law Made Compulsory

As the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee passed a shift of teacher pensions as part of its multi-year budget plan, not a word was mentioned in the Committee decision meeting about the fourth component detailed on the summary sheet distributed to the Committee membership and eventually the public.

Here is the text of that item:

During the phase-in period of FY 2012 through 2014, if a county does not meet the required maintenance of effort (MOE) funding level and does not receive a waiver, the county must provide the amount by which it did not meet MOE to the school board or be billed by the Comptroller for payment.

Without any accompanying discussion at all, the education funding laws appear to have been completely rewritten, at least for this three year period. Rather than establishing the MOE funding level as a requirement to receive added state funding, the State (or rather this Committee of the Senate) now proposes to institute a firm mandate that each county simply must fund the school at that level (unless it receives a waiver).

This language will presumably be part of amendments offered to the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, SB 141, to be heard on the Senate floor this week.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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