Secretary Lowery Addresses MACo Legislative Committee

budget highlightsMACo recently hosted Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Lillian Lowery to speak on topics this legislative session in education. Superintendent Lowery spoke with MACo’s Legislative Committee over lunch, following MACo’s first Legislative Committee meeting of the 2014 Session.  Superintendent Lowery was joined by her new Chief of Staff, John White, and Executive Director of Government Relations, Renee Spence. Topics of discussion included MACo’s Legislative Initiative, Common Core, and Pre-K education in Maryland.

At the meeting, Superintendent Lowery shared the following information to MACo’s Legislative Committee:

As described in the Education Budget Highlights, in the FY2015 proposed budget:

  • Education aid grows $135.6 million or 2.3% over FY 2014 and $1.65 billion or 36.9% over FY 2007.
  • The State will distribute direct education aid totaling nearly $5.32 billion among Maryland’s 24 local jurisdiction.
  • The Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI), which adjusts school funding for educational cost differences and enhances aid equity, is fully funded at $132.7 million.
  • [There] is $4.3 million to expand access to free public pre-kindergarten education to children.
  • $275 million [is allocated] to build and renovate schools across the State.
  • In addition to the traditional school construction program, $6.1 million is included for the Aging Schools Program, $4.6 million in Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), and $3.5 million for nonpublic schools.

For more information, including a county-by-county list of primary and secondary education aid in the proposed FY15 budget, see the Education Budget Highlights FY2015.