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MARYLAND

Bradford v. Maryland State Bd. of Educ., Baltimore City Circuit Court, settled after a 1996 grant of summary judgment to the Plaintiff parents and students.

Plaintiffs, parents and students in the Baltimore City school district, challenged the state’s failure to provide an adequate education as required by the state constitution. The circuit court ruled in favor of plaintiffs in 1994, and the parties agreed to a “partnership agreement” that required additional state funding and management reform by the district. In 2000, the court ruled that still greater funding was required, which resulted in a package of legislative reforms. In 2002, as per two independent costing-out studies, the state enacted a new standards-based finance system which allocates more money to needier districts. The court extended its oversight of the case to ensure that the funding and reforms would be implemented. More information is available at http://www.schoolfunding.info/states/md/lit_md.php3.

Hornbeck v. Somerset Cty. Bd. of Educ., 295 Md. 597, 458 A.2d 758 (Md. 1983).

The Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the system of school finance then in effect, ruling that the state constitutional requirement of a “thorough and efficient system of free public schools” does not require exact equality in funding provided to each of the state’s school districts and thus rejecting plaintiffs’ claim on the basis of this provision, and also rejecting plaintiffs’ state and federal equal protection claims.