Task force selects 59 schools as models for financing study

January 25, 2001|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

A state task force charged with overhauling Maryland's system of school financing announced yesterday the names of 59 successful schools to be used as models for an analysis.

The schools - including some in all five suburban Baltimore systems - will be studied by an independent consultant hired by the task force to determine how much money and other resources they use to perform well.

"This is a list of schools that are meeting the state standards," said Tina Bjarekull, an assistant state superintendent. "It is not a list of the highest performing schools in the state. There are other high performing schools, too."

The schools were picked by the consultant and state education officials from 114 identified to have met Maryland's performance standards in such areas as testing and attendance.

The list was whittled down to yield diversity in such categories as geography, size, poverty and race. Magnet schools and those with selective admissions policies were not included, eliminating several from Baltimore, according to state school officials.

Finances of the 59 schools - including money they receive from the state, their local school board and other sources - will be studied to develop financial models for how much it costs to operate successful schools in Maryland.

The task force - known as the Thornton Commission, for its chairman Alvin Thornton - intends to recommend new school financing formulas to the governor and General Assembly for the legislative session next year.

Baltimore County had the most schools on the list in the area, including Fifth District, Fort Garrison, Hampton, Kingsville, Padonia International, Riderwood, Summit Park and Timonium elementaries; Cockeysville, Hereford and Dumbarton middle schools; and Dulaney, Franklin, Hereford and Loch Raven high schools.

Seven Howard County schools were selected - Centennial Lane, Clarksville, Hammond and Manor Woods elementaries; Burleigh Manor and Clarksville middle schools; and Glenelg High School. One Carroll County school was picked, South Carroll Senior High.

In Anne Arundel County, the four schools selected were Bodkin, Mayo, and Oak Hill elementaries; and Severna Park High School. Harford County schools on the list were Jarrettsville and Ring Factory elementaries; Bel Air and Southampton middle schools; and Fallston High School.

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