Hogan announces $23 million for city schools in second supplemental budget

Posted at 7:28 AM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 18:14:28-04


Sunday night, Governor Larry Hogan announced on his website that he will pony up 23.7 million more dollars for Baltimore City Schools.

It is additional funding that gets the system even closer to closing a 130 million dollar shortfall, but the governor’s money has a contingency attached to it of fiscal accountability requirements

Still, the supplemental budget item was a development met Monday with a chorus of thank you.

"It's not too late, it's a step in the right direction,” said Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, “And we are very glad that the governor stepped up to provide that amount of funding."

The vice chair of the city’s education committee said thank you because combined with other commitments from the mayor, city council president, the state legislature and 30 more million dollars in savings from the school system itself...the 130 million dollar chasm of a deficit has become more manageable.

Mayor Catherine Pugh released a statement today echoing the councilwoman saying, "First, I want to thank Governor Hogan for including $23.7 million in supplemental funds to help us address the Baltimore City Public Schools’ structural deficit.  I also want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the city legislative delegation, led by Appropriations Chair Maggie McIntosh, for its continued efforts on behalf of Baltimore’s children and families.

All parties involved recognize the importance of prioritizing our children’s access to a quality education and partnering with Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises to give her the tools and resources to help our children thrive.

I look forward to the ongoing work of the Kirwan Commission so we can ensure a sustainable solution to the school system’s funding difficulties."

Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises released her own statement thanking the governor:

“On behalf of City Schools, I thank Governor Hogan for his commitment to Baltimore’s young people and the education they deserve. The additional funding included in the governor’s second supplemental budget is a major component of the state and city’s plan to contribute $60 million toward closing the district’s anticipated budget gap for 2017-18. Thanks also go to Delegate Maggie McIntosh, members of the city's delegation in Annapolis, and state house and senate leaders for their tireless work to move the plan forward.

 Mayor Catherine Pugh and Council President Jack Young have also committed to providing additional resources for our schools, and their dedicated efforts are appreciated. The advocacy of the entire City Schools community -- students, families, staff, and partners -- has clearly been effective, and I thank all those who raised their voices in support of our students.

 I look forward to continued partnership with our state and city lawmakers as we complete efforts to secure the remaining funding and work together to ensure City Schools’ financial stability for the future.”

It is important to note while all the contributions get close to closing the 130 million dollar gap, it is a structural deficit which means the system may be in the same boat again next year without a permanent solution.

"We have not yet reached the point which we can tell our teachers and the children and our families that we won’t be laying off people in the schools,” warned Councilwoman Clarke, “Until we get to that moment, we're really nowhere.”

RELATED: City schools not included in Gov. Hogan's new budget plan

The financial support would help close the school system’s $130 million budget deficit, yet a large gap remains. So far, the city has agreed to spend $180 million over the next three years.

“Ensuring that every Maryland student has access to a world-class education is the number one priority of our administration, and I thank Mayor Pugh, Dr. Santelises, and members of the legislature for working with us to provide this support to schools in Baltimore City and ten jurisdictions across the state,” Governor Hogan said in a news release. “But more money isn’t the only answer – we are proud that this funding is part of an agreement with Baltimore City leadership to bring greater transparency and accountability to city school finances. This is what students, parents, teachers, and Maryland taxpayers deserve.

Hogan’s second supplemental budget also includes additional funding for ten other schools systems in Maryland.

Carroll County would receive $1.6 million, along with $793,000 for schools in Allegany County. Calvert, Cecil, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset and Talbot Counties are also included in the list.

The new budget will be submitted Monday.

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