As reported by the Washington Post, the Governor is considering across the board cuts of 5% to education and shifting 40% of teacher pension costs to the counties to help balance the budget.
In recent weeks, O’Malley’s budget secretary, T. Eloise Foster, has recommended a 5 percent cut in that aid. In a recent letter to Prince George’s County school officials, she described the cut as “unthinkable only a few years ago.”
Aides said O’Malley has made no final decisions about school funding. But he talked openly about the prospect in a recent meeting with Democratic senators.
O’Malley is also weighing a recommendation from Foster that the state shift 40 percent of Maryland’s teacher retirement costs to county governments – a move that could save the state $342 million a year but exacerbate local fiscal woes.
O’Malley said Monday that he would like to forgo the recommendation but said it is still among the options being considered.
“I don’t believe the counties are in any better position than we are to pick up the costs,” O’Malley said. “But I haven’t figured out yet how we close a $1.2 billion gap. We’re still wrestling with that mathematical challenge.”