This post summarizes the final action of various education bills that MACo took a position on.
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds – HB 93 / SB 153 were bills authorizing the use of federally-funded qualified zone academy bonds. MACo sought amendment language to this bill as a vehicle to urge that these funds not remain the long-term source for funding for the aging schools program. SB 153 has passed (authorizing the use of the federal funds), but without the MACo-sought amendment.
Loss Limit On School Funding – HB 660 / SB 586 sought to limit the amount by which any jurisdiction could lose education funding from year to year, which MACo supported. The bills did not pass, but similar elements were incorporated into the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) that remains a component of the budget balancing plan (not yet completed, as of Monday morning).
Maintenance of Effort – SB 848 / HB 1412 were bills introduced to dramatically alter the nature of the state’s maintenance of effort laws for county school funding. Detailed treatment of these bills and MACo’s opposition has been offered previously on Conduit Street, but the bills passed despite county objections.
Compulsory Attendance Age – SB 362 / HB 373 are bills to advance the age of compulsory school attendance for schoolchildren from 16 to 18 over coming years. MACo opposed the bill on fiscal grounds, but bills have passed both chambers and appear headed toward a final approval.