2017 End of Session Wrap-Up: Education

MACo advocates for school construction funding, and equity in K-12 and community college funding. The following segments describe MACo’s advocacy in this area in the 2017 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

School Construction

Push Icons-WONMACo successfully supported passage of a bill that will allow the state to issue $4.8M in federal bonds for programs that fill an important niche in school construction. These programs cover small renovation and repair work in aging schools that do not always qualify for standard funding. Counties, who share funding responsibility for Maryland’s schools, appreciate additional support for their infrastructure goals. Senate Bill 197/House Bill 153 “Qualified Zone Academy Bonds,” passed and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

Income Tax Credit for Intern-Employers

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill that allows businesses to receive a credit against the state income tax for employing interns enrolled in public and private nonprofit higher education institutions in the state. Counties appreciate that this bill offers a state-funded tax benefit, without a “spillover” residual effect on county revenues. Senate Bill 522/House Bill 1483 passed out of the Senate and is in the House Rules CommitteeBill InformationMACo Coverage

Grants Give Extra Cover for Pre-K and Declining Enrollments

Push Icons-WONMACo successfully supported passage of a bill that will provide $28.2 million in additional funding for K-12 public schools. The funding will be provided to: Allegany ($793,000), Calvert ($240,000), Carroll ($1.6 million), Cecil ($190,000), Garrett ($456,000), Harford ($356,000), Kent ($215,000), Queen Anne’s ($22,000), Somerset ($455,000), and Talbot ($133,000) Counties, and Baltimore City ($23.7 million). Senate Bill 1024/House Bill 684 passed, and the Governor signed it and has provided funding for it in a supplemental budget. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

Money for Meals All Summer Long

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill that authorizes Summer Meals Program sponsors to apply for supplemental money from a competitive state-county matching grant fund to expand their ability to provide free and nutritious meals to children in need. Senate Bill 1161/House Bill 273 did not move out of committee in either house. Bill InformationMACo Coverage.

Counties Seek Greater Support for Community Colleges 

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill to require both the county and the State to split the reimbursement of tuition assistance to ensure that the State is equally invested in the advancement of its students and workforce. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 678/House Bill 848 did not advance out of committees in either house. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported legislation that would have required the State to increase its funding so that by 2021 its aid to community colleges would reach 29% of the per-pupil general fund appropriation to students at 4-year public institutions of higher education. Senate Bill 152/House Bill 1069 did not move out of committee in either house. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported with amendments a bill would have established grants and scholarships for community colleges. In amendments, MACo asked that the legislation specifying how the grants would be funded. Senate Bill 869/House Bill 868 did not move out of committee in either house. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

School Funding Transparency

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported with amendments a bill that would have required a county government to establish an independent office to oversee the local school system if the system has received 10 or more repeat findings by the State Office of Legislative Audits. MACo asked that the legislation be amended to make it enabling, rather than mandatory, among other suggestions. House Bill 1341 did not pass out of committee. Bill InformationMACo Coverage

Click here for a round up of the wrap-ups for all policy areas