Editors' Pick

Best Move by the State Legislature (For Montgomery County)

Baltimore City needed more day-to-day operating money from the state for its cash-strapped school system. Montgomery County’s delegation in Annapolis was willing to help, but in return it wanted more capital funding for school construction in a jurisdiction where the student population is mushrooming by about 2,500 annually. The result was a legislative horse trade—and General Assembly approval of a budget containing nearly $60 million in state school construction aid for Montgomery County during the current 2018 fiscal year. While local school officials had asked for about twice that amount from the state, the latest allocation was up $9 million—nearly 20 percent—from a year earlier. And Montgomery County, with 18 percent of Maryland’s school population, inched closer to what some believe would be a fair share of state aid. For fiscal 2018, it received 15.3 percent of school construction funds allocated by the state; four years earlier, the county received a mere 9.5 percent.