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School Funding 101

In Maryland, school funding is done county by county, but the budget procedures are roughly the same. School boards, the School Superintendent and County Executives all have a hand is determining how money for education is spent.

Each entity below has a chance to review and make changes to a proposed budget before submitting to the next department:

Superintendent submits recommended Operating & Capital Budgets to the Board of Education.

The Board of Education reviews the budget as recommended by the Superintendent.
The Board may recommend the budget as it stands, reduce or expand it and submit to the County Executive.

The County Executive reviews the budget as recommended by the Board of Education.
The County Executive may approve the budget as it stands, reduce it, or adjust funds within specified categories and submit to the County Council.

The County Council has 45 days to review the County Executive’s proposed budget.
The Council may approve the budget as it stands, reduce it or restore funds cut by the County Executive.  

The County Council’s approved budget is then provided to the Board of Education.

The Board of Education adopts final budget.

If you have an interest in your local education system, it’s this process that counts, and when you vote for these positions, make sure you know how each candidate feels about spending on education. Here are some excellent resources you can peruse for your research in finding out about local and state candidates.

For general voting information, visit elections.maryland.gov.

At votesmart.org, you can find candidates’ positions on just about anything they’ve made public. Plus, put in your state and choose from a list of issues you’re concerned about and it will give you information on ballot initiatives.

If you’re inclined to vote with the teachers, head to mdappleballot.com to see teachers’ recommendations in your county. Teachers are encouraging voters to vote Yes on Question 1 this November, aka “Fix the Fund,” which is a constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring funds from Maryland casinos be dedicated to public education. It will be a hot topic at the polls in Maryland this year. “This proposed constitutional amendment” according to votesmart.org, “would require that the Governor, beginning in fiscal year 2020, provide in the annual budget submission supplemental State funding for public education through the use of commercial gaming revenues. The supplemental funding must be in addition to the State funding provided through the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act of 2002. The supplemental funding included in the submission must total at least $125 million in fiscal year 2020, $250 million in fiscal year 2021, and $375 million in fiscal year 2022. In all subsequent fiscal years, 100% of the gaming revenues dedicated to public education must be included as supplemental funding.”

At vote411.org, you can register to vote, find local voting information, learn about local, state and federal candidates, and learn where they stand on issues that matter to you.

No matter what you do, head out on November 6 and make your voice heard!

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