State budget helps city schools fill budget hole | WYPR

State budget helps city schools fill budget hole

Mar 28, 2017

Credit Rachel Baye / WYPR

The General Assembly passed the state’s $43-billion budget Tuesday, with a little less than two weeks to go before the legislature’s 90-day session ends.

The final budget includes nearly $30 million to help Baltimore City Public Schools fill its own budget hole.

Most of that money replaces funds Baltimore City Public Schools lost as a result of declining enrollment. Lawmakers made up the difference in Baltimore and other jurisdictions with falling enrollment partially by counting the number of students in publicly funded full-day pre-kindergarten programs.

Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, who chairs that body’s Budget and Taxation Committee, said additional legislation helps cover the city schools’ transportation costs by allowing students to use Maryland Transit Administration vehicles for free.

“And all put together, it gives you the amount of money the city lost this year,” he said.

He said the total amount comes close to $30 million.

Legislators were prepared to come up with the money for the schools, but the matter became less controversial Monday when Gov. Larry Hogan issued a supplemental budget appropriation for the amount.