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Bartlett wants to make sure county gets share of school funds

February 05, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - If Maryland changes the formula it uses to fund public schools, Washington County Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. wants to make sure the county gets its fair share.

"I don't believe the pie gets bigger. It gets split different. We want to have some input," Bartlett said.

On Thursday, Bartlett and members of the Washington County Board of Education asked the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly for help.

State money funded about half of the school system's $108 million budget this year, Bartlett said.

The legislature will consider a bill this year that would change the state funding formula for public schools. That funding is based on a complicated formula that considers wealth and enrollment.

An appointed commission would make recommendations for the 2003 budget year.

Until that's done, each school district would get more money to bridge the gap, Bartlett said.

Washington County's share would be $851,287, he said.

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Schools are concerned that the bridge bill funding doesn't increase with inflation, he said.

The legislation will come before the House Ways and Means Committee, on which Dels. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, and Joseph R. Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington, serve.

McKee, chairman of the Washington County delegation, said he will try to see that Western Maryland, or at least someone from a rural county, is represented on the study commission.

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