Baltimore, rural areas to benefit as board acts to shift U.S. school aid

January 30, 1991

The State Board of Education voted yesterday to shift hundreds of thousands of dollars in a federal aid program from Maryland's more affluent school districts to Baltimore and districts in rural areas that have a high number of poor students.

Under the new distribution formula, Baltimore stands to gain about $500,000. The big loser appears to be Prince George's County, which stands to lose about $300,000. The other districts in the metropolitan area would all lose -- but in amounts ranging from about $79,000 for Baltimore County to about $16,000 for Carroll County.

Those figures assume no change in a district's total enrollment, in the percentage of disadvantaged students in a district, and in the overall allotment of federal funds available under the so-called Chapter 2 program -- intended to supplement educational funding in target areas determined by states.

Thus, state school officials caution that the figures for the state's 24 school districts could change. Prince George's, for example, is within a few tenths of 1 percent of becoming eligible for additional money under the new criteria. A final tally of students will be ready in a month.

Until yesterday, districts with a disadvantaged student population of 25 percent or higher were eligible for extra Chapter 2 funds. The board changed that number to 30 percent.

Local districts use the extra money for dropout prevention and staff development, school supplies and special programs ranging from art classes to computer science.

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