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Md. Panel To Monitor Funds

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The Maryland General Assembly will consider legislation that would create a task force to oversee schools' spending of an estimated $60 million in additional state aid proposed by the governor for school-improvement efforts.

The seven-member panel, which would be called the "accountability advisory task force," would be required to review the plans from each of the state's 24 school systems on how they intend to use funds from any increase in state aid over the next five years.

The task force would evaluate each school system's plan and report the schools' progress to the state board, which would be given the authority to withhold state aid to school systems that fail to use the additional funds for improvements in classroom instruction.

Gov. Harry Hughes would appoint the task force members based on the recommendations of the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, and the Maryland Board of Education.--sgf

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