MACo: Don’t Divert County Funds to Nonpublic Schools

On March 3, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Committee in opposition to HB 1056 – Nonpublic Schools – Adequate Health Services – Eligibility for Reimbursement. This bill requires county governments to reimburse up to 50% of the costs that nonpublic schools incur providing adequate health services.

From the MACo Testimony:

This bill would extend those responsibilities, unfairly diverting local government funding to reimburse up to 50% of the costs of adequate health services provided at nonpublic schools.

As a rule, MACo resists state policies that result in costly or burdensome local implementation. Under state law, counties would have no choice but to support these new costs from reimbursements – competing for limited local funds against school construction, public safety, roadway maintenance, and other essential public services. The bottom line is that nonpublic school health services should not be funded by Maryland taxpayers.

Counties are concerned this legislation would be a substantial administrative and cost burden, and unfairly places the burden on local government to reimburse for health services provided to students not in the Maryland public school system. Ultimately, this legislation would create a slippery slope by troublesomely diverting public funds to provide for students not enrolled in the county school system.

Drew Jabin also submitted testimony to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee to oppose the cross-filed Senate version, SB 827.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.