Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh on Friday outlined a plan to funnel an additional $180 million into the city’s schools over the course of three years.
About half the money would come from city sources, including the rainy day fund and leftover snow removal money. Under the plan, the state would make up the rest.
The money would not be enough to completely plug what is estimated to be a $130 million budget gap that the schools system faces in the coming year.
But Del. Maggie McIntosh, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said that any aid the state and city can provide will help blunt the impact of the funding gap.
“The more we can help, the fewer layoffs of teachers and the less impact to our schools,” the Baltimore Democrat said.
McIntosh said the Appropriations Committee’s revised version of Gov. Larry Hogan‘s state budget will include some $8 million for city schools. A separate bill, meanwhile, would make tweaks to the calculation of student enrollment — a key element of the state’s education funding formula.
The changes would provide schools with about $24 million in state aid, McIntosh said.
The bill would need to pass the House and the Senate and be funded by Hogan through a supplemental budget.
Hogan spokeswoman Shareese N. Churchill said the “administration is actively engaged in conversations regarding the Baltimore City schools financial situation.”
“However, any additional assistance from the state must be met with assurances that moving forward, there is a long-term strategy in place to correct previous fiscal mismanagement,” Churchill said. “We look forward to continuing our very productive conversations with Mayor Pugh and all city leadership.”
Pugh said more aid could be available under a separate deal with the Republican governor.
“We have had conversations with the governor as well as with the president of the Senate and we have been assured that assistance will be there as well,” Pugh said.
In January, Baltimore Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises said she might have lay off 1,000 employees and increase class sizes to close the budget gap, which amounts to 10 percent of the system’s overall budget.