Counties Request State Funding to Support Expanded Calculation of Compensatory Education

On March 14, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Appropriations Committee in support of HB 1211 – Education – Compensatory Education – Maryland Neighborhood Tier System Calculation with amendments.

This bill establishes a detailed tier system to better account for children’s economic conditions when determining their eligibility for compensatory education funding. Counties support this legislation, and appreciate the extant difficulties in calculating compensatory education, as identified in the Kirwan Commission Report as well as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

To address the increase in expenditures under this HB 1211’s altered formula, MACo proposed an amendment requiring the State to fund the additional students and schools newly eligible for compensatory aid.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties understand the intent of the bill and the general argument for a revised or secondary [means of determining eligibility for compensatory education]. However, the local impact of utilizing this new methodology remains unclear, as its details have not been fully reported, and the bill lays out only a framework for establishing the tiers, with the actual calculations and fiscal effects unknowable. HB 1211 would potentially place a costly mandate on school systems and county governments subject to this new calculation – even as the State-mandated costs on county governments to fund the local share of the ambitious plan are challenging county bottom lines.

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