In a recent MarylandReporter.com article a spokesperson for the Maryland State Education Association provided the orgnization’s view on the MOE waiver process and stated “the waiver process should be mandatory and stricter standards applied to local governments before schools are penalized”. Excerpts from the article are below.
Education advocacy groups are concerned about last year’s removal of the waiver requirement, which came after the state cuts it own education cuts. The General Assembly also lowered requirements for counties to fund only their share of “foundation aid,” which is about 75% of the local spending average in the four previous years.
In an earlier Conduit Street article, MACo sheds light on how to reform the wavier process and disputes the claim that counties are cutting billions from school budgets.
MACo has been advocating for a more sensible MOE waiver process for the last two sessions, and will now expend this effort to address the wider range of accountability and management concerns raised by these increasingly difficult budget times. Counties fear that without meaningful reform to both MOE and these budget accountability matters, the years ahead will see a damaging “chilling effect” as counties become reluctant to fund in excess of the MOE target, for fear of creating unsustainable future requirements. If the General Assembly chooses to create tougher standards and harsher penalties on counties, this may be a very negative (though unintended) result affecting future school funding decisions.