MOE Legislation Will Bring Major Changes To County/School Relationships

Today’s Gazette includes extensive comments about the recently passed (though still awaiting the Governor’s signature) bill to reframe the state’s maintenance of effort laws.

From their coverage:

But Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R) said county residents support tax caps and don’t want the state government to override their views.

“The heavy-handed mandate is dictating to charter governments how they’re supposed to spend their money,” Leopold said of the move he argues will undermine the quality of other county services, such as public safety and public health.

“State mandates in public education are crowding out the vital programs provided by county governments in other areas.”

Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) stressed “it’s not the school board’s fault we’re in this pickle.” Rather, she points to the General Assembly.

“More than half of counties’ budgets are being walled off for education, and it will create a long-term structural problem for counties,” Ervin said.

“[Maintenance of effort] used to be the floor. With this new law, it is now the ceiling. Counties are disincentivized to go above that.”

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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