Published: January 6, 2005
Maryland adopted a new school finance system in 2002, effective in fiscal 2004, based on recommendations from the state’s Commission on Education Finance, Equity, and Excellence (known as the Thornton Commission). The state uses a foundation formula based on a per-pupil foundation level ($5,029 in fiscal 2005) and each district’s prior-year enrollment. Districts are required to make a local effort to receive state aid. Maryland’s finance formula is equalized so that less wealthy jurisdictions receive proportionately more state aid. The state used the results of two adequacy studies to develop the foundation amounts and adjustments for students with special needs. The per-pupil foundation amount is weighted to provide extra revenue to districts for economically disadvantaged students, English-language learners, and special education students. The state is appealing a ruling by the Baltimore City Circuit Court that students in Baltimore are not receiving an education that meets the “thorough and efficient” clause in the state constitution.
Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 66