Kent County Asks State For Schools Funding Break

Kent County officials formally asked the Maryland State Board of Education last week to waive $860,000 of the $16.9 million Maintenance of Effort funding mandate for Kent County schools next year, citing greater declines in the county’s tax revenues than the state average. “Kent County’s income tax and property tax bases have declined significantly,” wrote Patricia Merritt, the county’s chief financial officer, in a letter to the State Board of Education on April 16. “Because of the unique size, employment base, and socio-economic structure of the County, declining revenues have impacted Kent County much more severely than the state as a whole.” The waiver request said the county can only fund next year’s school budget at last year’s level of $16.1 million–due to falling tax revenues.