Education Advocates Release Blueprint for Fixing Maintenance of Effort

Monday, January 30, 2012
Adam Mendelson
(410) 263-6600

MSEA, MABE, and PSSAM release blueprint for fixing maintenance of effort

January 30, 2012, Annapolis, MD…A cross-section of education advocates released a blueprint for how to fix the state’s broken maintenance of effort (MOE) law, which is currently putting $2.6 billion in local education funding at risk.

The Maryland State Education Association, the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, and the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland released the blueprint, calling on Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly to adopt comprehensive reform to protect the student programs and crucial services in danger of being cut if MOE is not fixed.

The blueprint reflects a number of important principles for reform, including:

  • Creating predictability and a consistent funding floor without a permanent funding ceiling
  • Accurate accounting of MOE
  • Preserving school funding for education rather than retirement costs
  • Accountability and a mandatory waiver process
  • Increased flexibility for county governments
  • Fairness
  • Assistance in finding and applying new revenue

“Students, educators, and parents are depending on our elected officials to protect the critical investments that we’ve made in our schools by fixing MOE,” said MSEA President Clara Floyd.

“The Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) urges immediate passage of legislation to address and correct serious deficiencies in MOE,” said MABE President Gary Bauer. “Boards of education are alarmed that local funding is no longer subject to a meaningful funding floor, and how this impacts our efforts to sustain success in the classroom and the futures of our students. We deeply appreciate the commitment of the governor and General Assembly to ‘hold the line’ on state funding and fully anticipate broad support for legislation requiring counties to do the same.”

“Local school system superintendents are appreciative that the General Assembly leadership has identified ensuring local jurisdictions’ adequate funding of its schools as a top priority in the 2012 session,” said Public School Superintendents of Maryland Executive Director Carl Roberts. “School funding in Maryland is a unique partnership that requires all parties to collaborate for the common good of our students and for the future of all Marylanders. Maintenance of effort must be reinforced so we all may move forward in successfully addressing the significant challenges confronting public education in Maryland.”

Strong majorities of Marylanders back a maintenance of effort fix. According to a poll conducted by Grove Insight Opinion Research in June of 300 Maryland voters (margin of error of +/-5.7%), 69 percent opposed the changes made to maintenance of effort during the 2011 legislative session that allowed local jurisdictions to reduce their per pupil funding levels. Fifty-two percent strongly opposed these changes. Sixty-three percent of respondents felt that the state and counties bore equal responsibility to fund our schools.

The blueprint is available at www.marylandeducators.org/MOE.

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