The Department of Legislative Service’s where-the-money-goes analysis of revenues per public school student is a calculation of perennial interest to Conduit Street readers.
As compared with the 2018 ranking of total per pupil funding, several counties changed ranking position. Allegany and Dorchester counties switched spots, as did Charles and Garrett counties. Calvert, Wicomico, and Caroline swapped places, as did Anne Arundel and St. Mary’s. Talbot jumped from last place to 21st, and Frederick and Harford shifted downward. The various moves also reveal the changing nature of school funding from year-to-year and the difficulty of capturing a complete picture.
School funding in Maryland is mainly a combination of state and county funding, as very little funding comes from the federal government and school boards in Maryland do not have independent taxing authority.
The Department of Legislative Services also breaks down state and local funding for schools in the following charts. In the local funding chart, Frederick and Harford counties, which fall at the end of the overall revenue rankings above, rank 13th and 14th, providing more than $6500 per pupil in local funding to K-12 school systems.
In addition to operating funding for school systems, county governments also provide significant capital funding for K-12 school construction projects, and ongoing fiscal support to community colleges and public libraries. For these reasons, and others, rankings of this type fail to take into account to full picture of a county’s contribution to the education and success of Maryland’s students.
For more information see, the Overview of Maryland Local Governments from the Department of Legislative Services.