Sun Editorial: Big School Funding Challenges, Counties Are “Tapped Out”

The Baltimore Sun editorial board lays out a comprehensive look at the current school funding dilemma — advocates thirst for large new investments, but resources are strained already, even before the lofty goals from Kirwan Commission.

With the Kirwan Commission report now in circulation, legislation pending, and onlookers still awaiting details… school funding remains a hot topic, albeit one temporarily on hold. Enter the Baltimore Sun, with a well-timed look at the political dynamics underlying this far-reaching policy challenge.

Read the Sun editorial online (limited free views available)

After its regional tour of school budget conundrums in virtually every county, and then the incremental one-year funding approach still searching for traction in the legislative process, they get to the bottom of it:

Things get much harder after that, though.

Full implementation of Kirwan would mean an increase in education spending over current levels of $3.8 billion a year a decade from now, a tab that would be split between the state and local governments in a manner yet to be determined.

It should be clear by now that local governments’ capacity to support education is tapped out under current fiscal realities. The state is not in much better shape.

The Sun goes on to suggest that Governor Hogan may be uniquely positioned to forge the path forward for the State and its constitutionally-mandated charge to deliver education.

Read the Baltimore Sun’s editorial, “School budget woes hit the suburbs; how will Hogan respond?”

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties