MACo Urges Changes to School Funding Process

Queen Anne’s County Commission President Jim Moran and County Administrator Gregg Todd, and MACo staff joined Delegate Haven Shoemaker of Carroll County to testify in the Ways and Means Committee on March 5, 2015, in support of HB 1079, Education – Maintenance of Effort – Alterations. This bill seeks to make a few alterations to maintenance of effort administration that would provide all county governments with the funding options intended in the law, and remove mandated automatic increases. 

The recommended changes to the maintenance of effort system are:

  • Clarifying the types of costs that may and shall be considered nonrecurring, and requesting a study of the nonrecurring cost application process.
  • Defining that costs of fixed-term leases for school facilities are removed from the maintenance of effort after the lease ends.
  • Repealing the escalation of maintenance of effort for counties whose education effort dips below the statewide moving average.

From the written testimony:

The maintenance of effort law was designed to create a reliable and sufficient base for school funding by requiring county governments to contribute the same or more funding each year to local school boards on a per pupil basis. Since reforms that strengthened the funding mandate in 2012, county governments have not only all met the funding mandate, but have exceeded it by more than $400 million. By contrast, in each of the past four years, the State has avoided meeting its own funding formula through freezes and inflationary caps.

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.