A $1.9 billion question is likely to dominate the 2020 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – commonly known as the Kirwan Commission – was tasked in September 2016 to establish spending priorities and mandatory funding formulas for Maryland schools.

Shortly after the commission released its blueprint for
state and local funding for education, county leaders praised the policy
recommendations, However, they also raised concerns about the eventual county
costs which they estimated could reach $1.9 billion a year.

The new funding formula along with projected student enrollment growth will impact future costs differently from county to county.  The added financial requirement could be severe – up to $476 million – for some counties. The added chart is based on analysis by the Maryland Association of Counties and projects the funding shortfall or surplus for select counties in 2030. 

Most counties fund the local portion of education spending via property and income taxes.  Increased spending requirements could push some jurisdictions to turn to transfer and recordation taxes for supplemental education funds. Consequently, NAIOP members should be aware of which jurisdictions could face the toughest funding challenges.