Counties want to scale back on education funding
The Maryland Association of Counties, an influential group that represents big local governments in the state, is seeking an unusual waiver of a requirement that member counties spend at least as much yearly on per pupil eduction as they spent the past year.
The Gazette newspaper is reporting that MACO wants lawmakers to grant a blanket waiver to a requirement known as “maintenance of effort.” Currently, counties can ask individually for a waiver if they feel they can’t afford the commitment.
As the Gazette reports, the request is not without precedent. “The General Assembly enacted legislation in 1992 that waived the maintenance of effort requirement for fiscal 1993, when a national economic downturn similar to the current one put counties in a fiscal bind,” the paper said.
While powerful teachers’ unions oppose the move, lawmakers could look kindly on it, given that the state budget they are about to pass makes deep cuts in local aid.