MACo Urges Maintenance of Effort Fix Should Only Have 1-Year Effects

On February 23, 2022, Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 640 – Primary and Secondary Education – Maintenance of Effort Requirements – Alterations with amendments. This bill creates a “flat funding” requirement for schools as part of each county’s budget for fiscal year 2023, avoiding a funding drop arising from depleted enrollment from September 2020.

Mr. Sanderson described the bill as “smart but incomplete,” as it has repercussions into future years. Mr. Sanderson spoke to amendments to remedy the future year funding mandates, arising from the required bump in per pupil funding under the bill.

From the MACo testimony

However, as drafted, SB 640 would have permanent effects on school funding in future years for affected counties. MACo supports amendments to specify that the provisions of this bill that mandate added county funds for FY 2023 only do not become embedded into the “highest local appropriation” base – these amendments would prevent this intended one-time funding from becoming mandated for FY 2024 and beyond. The artificial funding mandate envisioned under SB 640 should be addressed with a one-time effect, and this can be clarified via amendments.

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Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties