Counties Stand Against Unfunded Mandate Surrounding Local Boards of Education

Last Thursday, Michael Sanderson submitted written testimony to the Ways & Means Committee in opposition to HB 479 Education – Salaries of Noncertificated Public School Employees – Minimum Living Salaries. 

This bill raises concerns as it would place a large administrative and cost burden onto local boards of education as it represents an unfunded mandate.

From the MACo Testimony:

As a rule, MACo resists state policies that result in costly or burdensome local implementation. HB 479 would severely restrict the state and local ability to keep pace with education needs and to provide safe and healthy learning environments for Maryland’s schoolchildren. If the required compensation is mandated at above-market levels with limited resources, the only outcome will be the curtailing of services offered. HB 479 would result in school systems reducing their ability to adequately staff and maintain their own school buildings.

Under state law, counties have no choice but to fund these costs – competing for limited local funds against education, public safety, roadway maintenance, and other essential public services.

This bill would place a costly mandate on county governments to carry out new state policy, which would ultimately sacrifice service delivery for specific employee compensation.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.

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