"Doomsday" budget averted!
May 29, 2012
With a final vote in the General Assembly on May 16, a budget package has passed which restores the $128 million in education cuts that were upheld during the regular legislative session. The budget package includes full funding of the Thornton education formula, including a 1% inflationary increase to help schools meet rising costs, a primary advocacy focus for the ACLU and our partners. School budgets will now remain intact, with $22 million restored to Baltimore City, $5 million to Baltimore County, $33 million to Montgomery County, and $38 million to Prince George's County. Click here to see a chart detailing the cuts that had been made. During the Special Session, the ACLU testified before the budget committees about the importance of restoring the $128 million in Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) funding.
The budget package includes a shift of teacher pension costs to local school systems over four years, but school funding should remain stable, given the new provisions in the Maintenance of Effort law. A small income tax increase to higher earners also passed, which will restore funding for community colleges, health programs, and other essential human services.
Thanks to all the parents, teachers, students, and community advocates who worked hard during the two strenuous legislative sessions. Your calls, e-mails, and presence are the reason that Maryland schools will be fully funded this coming year!