Calvert County Commissioners Discuss Education Funding Formula

As budget submission deadlines approach, county governments are analyzing the financial outlook for FY2012 operating budgets.  In recent deliberations, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) reaffirmed its commitment to funding increases for education despite a tight budget. A press release from Calvert County states”

“Calvert County Public Schools are consistently ranked among the best performing school systems in Maryland, and we believe our financial commitment helps maintain that status,” said BOCC President Susan Shaw. “Each year during the budgeting cycle we tend to hear criticism regarding education. However, it is important to understand that the BOCC simply sets the local contribution for public education funding based on the agreed upon formula we have with Calvert County Public Schools. It is the elected Board of Education with the school system staff that budgets the money and negotiates employee contracts.

“We believe that FY 2012 education funding will illustrate our obligation to education in a very tough economic climate,” Shaw continued. “Our working partnership with Calvert County Public Schools helps ensure effective financial planning for both the school system and the county.”

State law requires that local education funding be no less than the amount per pupil provided the prior year, called the Maintenance of Effort (MOE). This MOE requirement makes counties eligible to receive state education funding. Calvert County contributions for public education have consistently exceeded MOE standards. From FY 2006 through FY 2012, county education funding will have outpaced MOE requirements by an average of $4.1 million annually. The county will have contributed a total of $28.4 million above MOE requirements over that period.

In addition to the state MOE requirement, the BOCC and the BOE collaborated on a funding formula based on MOE, the consumer price index and an adjustment factor of 1.25 percent to fund new initiatives or new state mandates. The formula, in place through FY 2012, will provide $106.6 million in operations funding for FY 2012, beginning July 1, 2011, an increase of more than $1.5 million or 1.48 percent over FY 2011.

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