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State lawmakers consider local spending on schools

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers are considering how a proposal to shift some teacher pension costs to counties will affect how local jurisdictions pay for schools.

Delegates held a hearing in Annapolis on Friday with state analysts to discuss how the proposal would affect the state’s maintenance of effort law.

The law requires a county to spend at least as much money on schools per pupil than the year before. Lawmakers are questioning whether money spent by counties to take on half of teacher pension costs would apply to their maintenance of effort.

State analysts say that under Gov. Martin O’Malley’s current proposal, the extra expense in teacher pensions would not apply to county maintenance of effort requirements. But they say lawmakers could adjust that as they work on the governor’s budget.