Education Funding Per Student Charts for 2019

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…

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Special Case Bill Raises Universal Concerns with State School Construction Funding

A bill to expand the types of school construction costs eligible for state funding in certain scenarios reveals how eligible cost definitions limit state funding for K-12 school facilities generally. Legislation in the General Assembly would makes land acquisition, architectural, engineering, consulting, and other school construction planning costs eligible costs for state funding in certain cases. Generally, these costs are not eligible for any state funding -- meaning that they are borne entirely by county…

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Make Cross-Country Connections, Gain Federal Insight at National County Gathering

Registration is open for NACo's Annual Legislative Conference, March 2-6, 2019 in Washington DC. Conference Agenda Selected Meetings Leading Local Efforts to Reach Young Children Addressing Ongoing and Emerging Threats Due to Adverse Weather Patterns Creating an Ethical Culture Creative Counties Forum CIO Forum Selected Educational Session Topics Backstage Pass: Behind the Scenes of Congressional Decision Making Get Your Money in the New Economy: Collections via Online Sales Tax and Tax Refund Intercept How Evolving…

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A Little Revolving Loan Fund Help from My Friends

The Governor's proposed budget includes $20 million this year, and more in future years for a revolving loan fund for county governments trying to 'get by' in tight fiscal years without stalling school construction projects.  Last year the 21st Century School Facilities Act implemented a recommendation of the 21st Century School Facilities Commission (often called the Knott Commission) to create a revolving loan fund to help counties unable to make the required match for school…

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A Whole New Ballgame

The Governor's proposal to use the Maryland Stadium Authority to expand the State's school construction program builds off of their experience overseeing Baltimore City's school construction program, but represents a change in traditional school construction processes in Maryland. The Building Opportunity Act of 2019 has been introduced in the General Assembly. The legislation accompanies the Building Opportunity Fund, included in the Governor's budget and announced earlier this week. The Governor's Building Opportunity Act of 2019…

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Inside the Governor’s $438 Million ‘Go-Ahead’ for Schools

A look at the elements of the Governor's fiscal 2020 capital budget proposal for public school construction. The Governor's 2020 capital budget includes a new program for school construction funding -- the Building Opportunity Fund -- and a pledge to provide $3.5 billion in five years to school construction. School construction is a major element of county capital budgets, who partner with the state to provide Maryland's students with superior learning environments. The State provides…

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Time to Engage! Dogfight Between Drones and the Law

The report of a statewide work group on drone use in Maryland describes the challenges drones create for local law enforcement and the need for clarification of rules and authorities. There are rules about flying drones. But enforcement of those rules is a bit. . . up in the air. Not every hobbyist who received a drone for Christmas will be well-versed in FAA regulations before they set their new gift airborne. And, aerial rules…

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The ‘A to T’ of County Government Salaries

A survey of county government salaries reveals the breadth of services Maryland counties provide residents. The annual salary survey includes county jobs from A to T, that is to say, from Departments of Aging to Tourism Offices. While some seek out the salary survey each year as a tool for comparing their salaries with those working in a county across the street, or a county across the Bay, as the MACo staff person who has…

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Maryland Counties Rally Resources for Furloughed Workers

Maryland's county governments suspend utility bills, identify health services, and connect furloughed federal workers with State and BGE assistance. As home to a large number of federal employees, the federal furlough has a particularly large effect on Maryland. County governments home to many federal employees, in particular those in the Washington D.C. area, have stepped in to help residents in need to find resources during the partial federal shutdown. Howard County has released a graphic…

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County Health Benefits Reach Beyond Standard Health Insurance

Access MACo's annual survey for insurance rates and coverage information for county employees and county government retirees throughout Maryland. The fiscal 2019 survey of county government health benefits is available. This survey compiles county-by-county information regarding insurance options that county employers provide to their employees in each county in Maryland, Baltimore City, and the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission. The health benefits survey includes detailed health insurance information about deductibles, co-pays, and maximums…

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