February 15th, 2012 by WCBC Radio
Perhaps the biggest issue education officials will be keeping an eye on during the final two month’s of this year’s state legislative session is the state’s “maintenance of effort” law. That law requires counties to fund schools at least as much per student as the previous year. Officials want to see changes at the state level to make sure that counties are adhering to the law. In addition to removing a penalty, under consideration is to require counties to apply for waivers from maintenance of effort from the state Board of Education if they want to go below it. For fiscal 2012, several counties funded their schools below maintenance of effort without applying for a waiver, in order to “reset” their per-pupil spending levels. On Tuesday the Allegany County Commissioners received an update on the issue from Michael Sanderson, Executive Director of the Maryland Associations of Counties. Commissioner Mike McKay said some of the larger counties in the state are having more problems maintaining level funding than as is Allegany and Garrett….