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Governor Responds to Project Baltimore Investigation on School Admin Costs

Governor Responds to Project Baltimore Investigation on School Admin Costs

Governor Larry Hogan is reacting strongly after a Project Baltimore investigation found Maryland schools lead the country when it comes to paying public school administrators. Money that goes to administrators is money that does not get to the kids in the classroom – it’s not buying books or computers.

A Project Baltimore analysis of 2017 U.S. Census data found, of America’s 100 largest school districts, six of the top 10 for administration costs per student are in one state – ours. At $1,630 per student, Baltimore City spends, by far, the most on administrators in the nation. Howard, Baltimore, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County Schools are all in the top 10.

Baltimore City, MD: $1,630

Boston, MA: $1,297

Atlanta, GA: $1,182

Howard County, MD: $1,143

Anchorage, AK: $1,134

Baltimore County, MD: $1,132

Prince William County, VA: $1,155

Montgomery County, MD: $1,099

Anne Arundel County, MD: $1,059

Prince George’s County, MD: $1,049

“I thought it was valuable information to know,” Governor Hogan told Project Baltimore. He added that he was surprised by the results of our investigation. But not shocked.

“We fully funded education three years in a row and we keep putting more money into all these school systems – particularly in Baltimore City,” said Hogan. “To see that much of the money is going to administration, and administrative costs at North Avenue instead of into the classroom where it can really help the kids, it’s frustrating.”

Hogan is not alone in being frustrated. When Fox45 broke this story, hundreds shared it on Facebook - hundreds more commented.

Christopher (we are withholding his last name) wrote, “Shocking!!! Just drive by the board of ed building on North ave and take a look at the amount of luxury cars parked in the parking lot!!!”

Nancy added on Facebook, “When everyone's says to me schools need more money this is why I roll my eyes.”

Earlier this year, a $130 million gap in Baltimore City Schools’ budget ignited protests in Annapolis – which resulted in State taxpayers giving City Schools $28 million in extra funding. But that cash came with accountability - in the form of a state audit to learn how City Schools $1.4 billion budget is being spent. Governor Hogan told Project Baltimore that financial audit has begun. No word on when it will be complete. But Hogan hopes to have some results by January.

“Your report is certainly something that got the attention of the auditors and they are going to take a strong look at it,” concluded Hogan.

Fox45 did reach out to the six school districts that made the top 10 asking for an explanation for their high admin costs. Anne Arundel County Schools said their administrators are very valuable. Baltimore City and Baltimore County said they didn’t know enough about the Census data, and how the federal government calculated the numbers, to accurately comment or interpret the data.

Gary White Why are we the tax payers allowing this corruption to continue. They are just taking our money and sticking it in their own pockets.

:50 – “I thought it was valuable information to know. We fully funded education three years in a row and we keep putting more money into all these school systems – particularly in Baltimore City.”

1:02 “To see that much of the money is going to administration, and administrative costs at North Avenue instead of into the classroom where it can really help the kids, it’s frustrating.”

Last year, State gave Baltimore City, an extra $28 million to cover a budget gap. State gave money, but tied audits to them. That audit has begun. Find out where the money is going. Not sure when it will be done. But hopefully, we will get something by January.

1:44 “Your report is certainly something that got the attention of the auditors and they are going to take a strong look at it.”

GRADE CHANGING:

3:06 – “It’s really shocking and frustrating. But at the same time enlightening. I don’t have all the facts other than seeing and watching your reports.”

3:35 - “Right now the investigation into the city, is with the city. We’re anxious to see how that investigation come along because this is the kind of thing, if it’s true, should never be allowed to happen in our school systems.” So, you’re watching? “Watching.”

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