Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland announced last week that he plans to propose $462 million in additional funding for K-12 education for fiscal 2007. The increase would bring the state budget for public schools to $4.5 billion—up from $4 billion this fiscal year, or a 11.3 percent boost.
Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, also proposed $281 million for school construction in 2007. The governor, who made the announcement Jan. 5 at Holabird Middle School in Dundalk, Md., faces a potentially tough re-election in the Democratic-majority state this year. In the three years since he took office, he has failed to persuade the Democratic-controlled legislature, which begins its 2006 session this month, to pass a bill legalizing slot machines to pay for public schools.
In his budget plan, Mr. Ehrlich earmarks $2 million to create a science, technology, and mathematics academy for students, and $1.5 million to improve services for children with autism and for a pilot program to screen children for autism.
A Maryland law passed in 2002 mandated that the state provide $1.1 billion in additional funding for public schools through 2007. The governor’s plan would add slightly above the mandated amount.