MACo Education Initiative Bill Advances in the Senate

MACo’s education initiative was amended and voted out unanimously by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and is proceeding to the full Senate.

Senator Addie Eckardt, of Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico Counties sponsored the initiative bill which sought to reform several issues in the current school funding laws applicable to county governments. SB 627 Education – Maintenance of Effort Requirement – Alterations was heavily amended by the Budget and Taxation Committee. Several of the provisions were stripped, including a repeal of the automatic escalator on county education funding and a provision to exclude capital leases from minimum annual education appropriations.

The amended bill clarifies that the cost to provide building features required under accessibility laws may be considered nonrecurring expenses. The bill also requires the State Board of Education to study the nonrecurring cost approval process and additional ways to encourage collaboration in alternative financing of public schools.

Access updates from the Department of Legislative Services on the bill here.

For more information, read our previous posts.