Priority Issue: MABE's Committee on School Funding Adequacy


MABE’s Committee on School Funding

In July 2016, MABE’s President expanded the charge of MABE’s Committee on School Funding Adequacy to include the capital funding and school facilities policy issues raised by the creation of the 21st Century School Facilities Commission. For more information, go to MABE’s Priority Issues Page on the School Construction and Knott Commission on School Facilities.

In 2015, MABE took the initiative to form its own Committee on School Funding Adequacy.

The purpose of MABE’s Committee on School Funding Adequacy is to:

  • Assist MABE’s representative on the Adequacy Stakeholder Group, MABE’s board of directors, other MABE committees, and MABE staff in developing MABE positions, documents, testimony, responses, and other communications to the State Workgroup throughout its deliberations and issuance of reports;
  • Produce status reports for the MABE board of directors;
  • Produce materials for communication with all local boards; and
  • Create a core group of well-informed board members on this specific initiative.

This committee provides a forum for discussing and informing MABE’s participation on the MSDE stakeholder group, MABE’s participation on panels convened during the consultant’s adequacy studies, and MABE’s advocacy in Annapolis for legislation to ultimately enact the school funding reforms and increases in state aid based on this work.

MABE’s Committee released a report in September of 2016, “Priorities and Perspectives on the Future of Public School Funding in Maryland”, which updates the Committee’s initial report issued in January of 2016. These reports provide background information, in-depth analysis, and an overview of local board perspectives on the ongoing adequacy study being conducted under state contract. This report was distributed and discussed with legislators during the 2016 legislative session, which saw the passage of Senate Bill 905, and House Bill 999 to create the “Thornton 2.0” Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. This bill was one of MABE’s top legislative priorities for the 2016 session. For more information, go to MABE’s Priority Issues page on the Commission.

MABE’s Role on the State Workgroup

MABE also plays a leading role as a member of the MSDE Stakeholder Group monitoring and providing input to the ongoing adequacy studies being conducted by consultants Augenblick, Palaich and Associates. MABE Executive Director, Frances Hughes Glendening, is the Association’s representative on the MSDE Stakeholder Group, and MABE Director of Governmental Relations, John R. Woolums, is the alternate.  MABE encourages all boards and board members to review the array of studies and status reports available on the MSDE webpage.

The passage of the 2002 Bridge to Excellence Act, and the subsequent increase of more than $1.3 billion in state aid to education, was founded on the adequacy study conducted from 1999 through 2001 by the consulting firm, Augenblick and Myers. The 2002 law called for a follow up study of the adequacy of education funding in the State to be undertaken approximately 10 years after its enactment, and amended to specifically require a study commencing in 2014. Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates has been awarded the $1.05 million state contract to conduct a comprehensive up-to-date adequacy study. The study must include, at a minimum, adequacy cost studies that identify a base funding level for students without special needs and per pupil weights for students with special needs to be applied to the base funding level, and an analysis of the effects of concentrations of poverty on adequacy targets. The adequacy cost study is based on the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MCCRS) adopted by the State Board of Education.

Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA) has completed its work and issued a final report as required by legislation, on issues including school size, measures of economic disadvantage and concentration of poverty, the impact of enrollment growth and decline on school funding. Three types of “adequacy studies” were conducted to gauge the adequacy and equity of school funding in Maryland, including: Professional Judgment, Successful Schools, and Evidence-Based. MSDE’s website provides links to all of the interim and final reports and State Workgroup meeting materials.

Direct links to Adequacy Studies and Reports (Note: these reports and additional resources are available on the MSDE Stakeholder Group webpage):

Linda Chinnia/Martha James-Hassan*Baltimore City
Stacy Korbelak/Teresa Milio Birge*Anne Arundel County
David Uhlfelder/Kathleen Causey*Baltimore County
Bill PhalenCalvert County
Tolbert RoweCaroline County
Warner SumpterSomerset County
      *Denotes Alternates



​For more information, contact MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations, John R. Woolums, Esq., at or 410-841-5414.