State Aid to Public Schools Key Issue in Budget Deliberations

Alan Brody writes in a March 11 article from the Gazette, that the General Assembly has focused recent attention on aid to education, in particular, the Governor’s proposal to reduce the amount of per pupil aid formula.

It (amount of per pupil aid) was scheduled to increase by $55, but O’Malley’s budget proposes reducing that amount from $6,694 per pupil last year to $6,599 per pupil this year.

Members of the House and Senate budget committees think the biggest issue to resolve will be the proposed reduction in school funding for 14 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions. Prince George’s County and Baltimore city are slated for cuts of $23.2 million and $17.6 million, respectively, in the budget proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, Talbot and Worcester counties are the areas where wealth is underestimated because of the early calculation, Ross said. According to the Maryland comptroller’s office, nearly 17 percent of Montgomery County taxpayers filed their returns after Sept. 1, 2009, the most recent data available. Nearly 20 percent of Talbot County residents filed late, according to the comptroller’s office.

Budget decisions from the House Appropriations subcommittee on Education are expected the middle of next week.

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