Leopold Engages On School Funding Laws

In a guest column written by Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold in The Capitol  that Maryland school funding laws need to be changed.  Excerpts from the article below.

The superintendent makes it clear he considers the school system as not being part of the county government budget process. This insular view of budgeting allowed the Board of Education to ignore the recommendation of the county executive and the budget decision of the County Council and purchase a $4.5 million computer system for human resources and payroll needs, which is still inoperable.

It also resulted in school system employees receiving a 1 percent COLA in the current budget year despite county direction to not fund the COLA. And this was done while county employees were furloughed and the salaries of Anne Arundel Community College employees were frozen.

MACo compiled an MOE FAQ sheet that was presented to the Senate Budget and Taxation briefing this past summer.

In his column County Executive Leopold ends with his overall views on school funding…

It’s time for a major revision to Maryland’s school funding laws to include increased local oversight over non-classroom expenditures, recognition of the significant county funding increase in the past years, and a system of combined state and county funding that recognizes that the sources of all those dollars – the taxpayers – are not a bottomless well that supplies annual school budget increases regardless of the cost to other essential county services.

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