The news that Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening wants to give Prince George's County $250 million in new school aid has Montgomery County officials concerned that the governor is trying to split the alliance the two counties formed last year when similar goodies were offered to Baltimore City. Maybe the partnership will hold and maybe it won't, but if the rural counties don't want to settle for the crumbs, they'd better start putting together an alliance of their own.
This year Montgomery and P.G. counties worked together to oppose a bill to send $254 million to Baltimore to settle a school-based lawsuit, while forcing the other 23 counties to divide just $167 million. They lost that battle, but pledged to keep working together.
But now the arrangement may be threatened because P.G. officials desperately want a judge's okay to end forced busing, and building some new neighborhood schools is the only way they're likely to get it. And while partnerships are nice, P.G. County officials know that with an election year coming up, the stream of state money will flow freely during this session and dry up later.