Nine Maryland Counties Must “Escalate” Education Funding

The State’s draft calculations for Major State Aid Programs in education reveals nine counties must increase their maintenance of effort in fiscal 2017.

In Maryland, where school boards do not have independent taxing authority, counties and the state support education programs.

All counties combined regularly provide almost half of their total budgets to K-12 education. They will need to do more this year, however, according to a state law and projected data for FY 2017.

The state’s maintenance of effort law requires counties to increase their education funding when:

  1. Statewide and county wealth is increasing, and
  2. The county’s education funding as a percentage of wealth is less than average.

The wealth calculations are made on a per-pupil basis, and the average is considered over a five year period.

This element of education law is relatively new and, because in the past few years statewide wealth has been declining, the law had no effect. This year, nine counties could be affected, with estimated required increases of up to 2.3%.

The affected counties, and the projected required increases are as follows:

  • Allegany, 1.7%
  • Baltimore City, 2.3%
  • Caroline, 0.2%
  • Dorchester, 1.5%
  • Garrett, 2.35
  • Kent, 2.3%
  • Somerset, 2.3%
  • Wicomico, 0.2%
  • Worcester, 1.0%

For more information, see the State education aid report from the Maryland State Department of Education and our previous posts on Conduit Street, Q&A: Maryland’s Education Funding Escalator.