Maryland Education Funding Divides State and County Leaders

Jan 20, 2012 Full story: Patch.com

By Tim Ebner Capital News Service Cash-strapped Maryland county leaders say they can't afford to pay their share of rising costs for schools and are asking the state to back off of a requirement to match state education funding dollar-for-dollar. Counties are responsible for splitting education costs with the state.

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Problem solver

Easton, MD

#1 Feb 12, 2012
County officials need not worry. Simply offer a tax credit up to 3,000 per year per household to resident parents who send their children to non-government run schools or who home schools thier children. The money always goes to the parents as a tax credit, and never to the school to avoid church and state issues.
Example: A family has two children going to public school. Let's say this costs the county about $10,000 per year (it's probably much higher). If the county pays that family $3,000 to send their two children to a private school or to home school, the county will save $7,000 just from that one family, and that savings happens every year the kids stay out of the public schools.
With less students in the public schools future construction costs are lowered further saving the school systems money. There you have it! Schools save money, the county saves money, and parents who would like to send their children to a private school or to home school are also happy to have the extra money to do it!
How does it work? The county must always pay in arrears to these parents. The budget year begins July 1. Counties will budget enough to pay parents for educating their children in the prior budget year. Parents must apply for a tax credit in the prior year to allow counties to make this budget adjustment. Applications and proof of education can all be worked out.

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