Western Maryland Schools Raising Concerns About Funding Formulas

The Cumberland Times-News reports on ongoing efforts by Garrett and Allegany Counties to mitigate the effects of wealth variation in the proposed budget’s support for education. From the report:

Superintendents and finance directors from Allegany and Garrett County public schools traveled to Annapolis last week to testify in support of a bill that would cap at 7 percent the amount of state revenues a school district could lose in a year, as calculated by budget formulas.

Allegany County schools stand to lose $6.5 million in fiscal 2012, or more than 8 percent of state funds.

Garrett County schools are in line to lose about $2.4 million — closer to 10 percent.

The losses are due to declining enrollment and a wealth per-pupil state funding formula that measures real property values, personal property values and taxable income from tax returns.

In addition, the Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act of 2011 pending in the state legislature would reduce Allegany County’s state funding by another $1.3 million, school officials have said.

“What we’re trying to do is preserve some money for Allegany County and Garrett County, but it’s a statewide bill,” Sen. George Edwards said Friday. The bill would be effective for five years, he said.

“Garrett and Allegany are impacted this year, but other counties could be impacted next year.”

Read the article here.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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