Boards and Counties – Coming Together on Education

County governments and school boards share ideas, perspectives on school construction and education funding.

craig rice at mabe
Council Member Rice listens to comments from local school board leaders at a meeting with MACo this week.

Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice and MACo policy staff met with the Maryland Association of Boards of Education Legislative Committee this week to discuss the legislative priorities for both organizations in the coming legislative session. Council Member Rice is MACo’s Education Chair and Chair of Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee.


School construction dominated the conversation.

MABE’s Legislative Committee chair, Joy Schaefer of Frederick County started the conversation referencing recent cost increases in school construction.

Council Member Rice emphasized public education as a priority, saying,

It’s a moral imperative…we need a robust education for our children.

Rice also shared his perspective on the link between education and economic development, suggesting that “we haven’t heard enough about this” as part of the public dialogue.

meeting with MABE
The Maryland Association of Boards of Education Legislative Committee prepares to hear from MACo representatives at their meeting this week.

Michael Sanderson, MACo’s Executive Director described MACo’s legislative priorities and provided an overview of county budgets. MACo’s top priority, a restoration of highway user revenues points to a pressure point for counties, making the link between this funding loss and education funding restraints.

MACo’s education policy analyst Robin Clark described MACo’s education initiative and shared ideas for mitigating some of the cost drivers in school construction funding.

Many members of the MABE Legislative Committee responded positively to Council Member Rice’s remarks and the passion that he showed for education. Committee members also asked follow-up questions on school construction and the legislative outlook for 2016.

Chairperson Joy Schaefer followed the meeting with a social-media “thanks” for the positive exchange: