Baltimore's state funding restored with alcohol tax, budget hearing scheduled for Wednesday
The Baltimore city school system will receive its full state funding and some additional money for facilities, due to a last minute development Monday night before the closing of the 2011 legislative session. The city school system was facing a more than $17 million cut in the state's proposed fiscal 2012 budget. The impact was said to be devastating to schools in the city because they would have to absorb the cut. The district had already announced other cost-saving measures, including another reorganization that would trim central office staff and an early retirement plan that would seek to buyout about 750 of the city's most experienced teachers.
Not everyone may be toasting to the funding restoration, however. The crisis was averted by an alcohol tax that will rise to 9 percent from 6 percent on July 1, according to our Annapolis reporters. You can read more of our comprehensive end-of-session coverage, which includes other major education developments, in today's Sun.
The state's restoration of funds was a win for city schools as it continues the throes of budget planning with (the last I heard) a $48 million deficit, down from $70 million two months ago. The city school system will hold a public forum to receive recommendations for its its fiscal 2012 budget at City school headquarters (200 E. North Ave.), Wednesday at 5 p.m. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in. The final budget is due to be released on May 10.