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Maryland

Hogan Holds Firm On $68M In Education Funds Instead of $136M

P. Kenneth Burns
/
WYPR

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is holding firm on spending $68 million for an education funding formula for parts of the state where costs are higher, half as much as most Democrats wanted.

Hogan announced the decision Thursday.

The governor says Maryland still is spending more than ever on education.

"At $6.1 billion, we have invested more money in education than ever before in the history of our state," Hogan said, "including an additional $109 million increase over last year."

Democrats made changes to the state's $40 billion budget during the legislative session to make room to restore the funding. But Hogan opposed tapping $75 million in an extra payment that had been initially earmarked to help shore up unfunded pension liabilities.

Sean Johnson, government relations manager for the Maryland State Education Association, said Hogan was using GCEI as a political football, but added "the plus side of the actions of the General Assembly on the last day of session removes that from the playing field moving forward."

Lawmakers passed a bill in the waning hours of the session to require the governor to fully fund the Geographic Cost of Education Index in future years, if he decided not to for the next fiscal year.

WYPR's P. Kenneth Burns contributed to this report