In a letter to Governor O’Malley, State Senator George Edwards urges the Governor to take action to avoid the closure of four schools in Garrett County. As reported in the Cumberland News-Times:
Edwards wrote to O’Malley requesting him to put in an administration bill, support one that Edwards puts in or request through the budget process to hold counties harmless from losing any money until the wealth formula is complete. The wealth formula will be looked at in the fall of 2014 and won’t be included until 2016.
“GCPS does not have time to wait for the results of the wealth formula; waiting will irreparably impact the future of Mountain Maryland’s children and Garrett County,” writes Edwards.
The wealth formula refers to the approach used in the education funding formula to offset disparities in taxable wealth among counties. Counties that appear to be more wealthy in the formula receive less State aid, and those that appear less wealthy, receive more.
Under the existing wealth formula, the county is ranked as the fifth wealthiest county in the state. In contrast, the county is ranked in the top 10 and, in some cases, the top five in most poverty indicators.