Maryland State Aid to Local School Systems

​​The Maryland State Department of Education, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Legislative Services, calculates, distributes, and monitors State Aid for Maryland's local school systems (LSSs). Maryland’s education funding formula, legislated through the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, allocates funding to LSSs based on a weighted-student formula. The formula consists of three primary categories:

  • Base Amount. This is the largest component of the funding formula, and is allocated to LSSs according to the total number of students enrolled in the system.
  • Weighted Amounts. This category provides LSSs with the financial resources needed to support specific student groups: Multilingual Learners, students with disabilities, and students who are economically disadvantaged. These amounts, sometimes referred to as targeted programs, are calculated by multiplying the number of eligible students in each of the above student groups by the specified per-pupil amounts in a given year.
  • Program Amounts. Unlike base per-pupil and weighted amounts, program amounts are allocated to LSSs to fund LSS costs not tied to student enrollment, but to district-level factors. For example, the transportation aid program is determined by the number of students transported, not enrolled. Likewise, Comparable Wage Index aid is provided to support additional LSS costs that some LSSs incur as a result of regional cost differences for supplies and personnel.

Together, these categories of funding combine to create the Blueprint funding formula. Funding for these programs is a shared effort between local jurisdictions and the State. Once the State determines the total amount for each program, the State and local share is determined based on local wealth as defined in Maryland law. Local jurisdictions (counties and Baltimore City) collect revenue through their local governments primarily through property and income taxes and provide funding to local school systems to meet the minimum local shares determined in the State aid calculation to fund the local share of Blueprint State aid. The State then provides LSSs with the remaining funding dictated by the funding formula. Below are short summaries for each of the individual State aid funding programs within the above three categories of the funding formula. Deeper, more technical explanations for these aid components as well as funding guidance and FAQs will be linked below each segment.

Blueprint State Aid Base Amount

Foundation aid provides each school system with the basic resources necessary to ensure student success. Foundation aid is calculated based on the per-pupil amount and the total number of students enrolled in a given LSS. This aid component makes up the largest portion of the funding formula and acts as a reference point for the remaining portions of the formula. The Blueprint has raised the bar for equity in Maryland's education funding with substantial increases in the per-pupil foundation amount. These amounts will continue to increase annually through a planned 10-year phase-in of the Blueprint. 
*More information on foundation aid amounts and the determination of these annual increases will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-201.

Blueprint State Aid Weighted Amounts

The fourth pillar of the Blueprint legislation prioritizes providing more resources for students with specified characteristics. Multilingual learners are one such student group commonly agreed upon requiring additional resources to the already allocated foundation aid. Multilingual learners are identified by the English language proficiency placement test and the Home Language Survey completed by parents. Multilingual learner aid provides funding to support programs for identified students who are developing their English language proficiency. Under the Blueprint, this aid steadily increases in dollars. This aid ensures that multilingual students develop proficiency in the English language as proficiency provides students with an essential foundation for learning in Maryland's classrooms.
*More information on Maryland’s Multilingual Learner State aid program will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-224.

The fourth pillar of the Blueprint also aims to support and provide additional resources to those students with special needs. This aid is provided to LSSs to support special education programs. As does the multilingual learner aid, this funding will increase each year during the Blueprint’s financial phase-in. Through providing tailored education plans and early interventions, this aid helps to ensure the success of students in Maryland with special needs.
*More information on Maryland’s special education program will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-225.

The third pillar of the Blueprint aims to have all students college and career ready by the end of Grade 10. This aid funds grants allocated to LSSs to establish College and Career Readiness (CCR) pathway programs for students who have met the CCR standard outlined by the Blueprint. CCR grants are provided to develop and fund curriculums starting at the Elementary school level for students to be prepared for college and their careers. Additionally, CCR aid funds pathways for students after they have met CCR standards, giving them access to Career and Technical Education opportunities, dual enrollment programs, and college preparation programs, all at no cost to the student or family.
*More information about the CCR standard and pathways will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-217.

The Blueprint prioritizes, as part of the third CCR pillar, for all students to be ready to read by Grade 3 through providing the necessary supports and resources. This aid is allocated to school systems to support programs for struggling learners in Kindergarten through Grade 3. TSI aid funds academic support opportunities for students such as one-on-one and small-group tutoring. This aid ensures that all students (Kindergarten through Grade 3) not meeting reading proficiency standards as measured by State standardized tests, have the opportunity to improve and succeed in their coming years of schooling.
*More information about TSI aid will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-226.

The Blueprint’s first pillar on early childhood education will expand and increase access to Maryland’s full-day public Pre-K programs. This funding allows those families with incomes at and below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level to send their children to full-day Pre-K at no cost. Additionally, as specified by the Blueprint, MSDE is creating a sliding scale to cover parts of Pre-K costs for families in Maryland with incomes up to 600% of the Federal Poverty Level. Prekindergarten aid ensures that all children in Maryland are prepared to enter kindergarten having received a high-quality Pre-K education.
*More information about Pre-K aid and the new sliding scale methodology can be found here and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-229 under the Blueprint for Maryland's Future formulas.

One of the Blueprint’s five major pillars prioritizes high-quality and diverse teachers. This career ladder aid provides grants to LSSs to support teacher development and career ladder opportunities as outlined by the Blueprint. After extensive research of career ladders in high-performing education systems around the world, Blueprint researchers tailored these methods to Maryland’s education system. Using this research, the Blueprint, with the input of various stakeholders and LSSs, will plan and implement a new teacher career ladder. The new career ladder intends to elevate the stature of the teaching profession, improving Maryland’s education system as a whole.
*More information on the development of the new career ladder and its implementation will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 6-1009.

The Blueprint, as part of its fourth pillar to provide more resources for students, intends to expand the amount of resources available to students in circumstances of poverty. This aid is allocated to LSSs based on the counts of students eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals. A hold harmless grant in FY 2023 was provided to ensure that compensatory education aid would not decline year-over-year as a result of the enrollment declines from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding aims to help close achievement gaps and support student performance for those students in circumstances of poverty.
*More information on compensatory education aid will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-222.

The Blueprint, also under its fourth pillar, required MSDE to initiate a comprehensive analysis of the concentration of poverty in Maryland’s schools. With reference to this research, the concentration of poverty State aid is provided to schools with high portions of students in circumstances of poverty. This allocation of aid is split between two grants: per-pupil grants (weighted) and personnel grants (program). An eligible school will first be given the personnel grant to hire staff and develop a Blueprint Community School Implementation Plan. If the school is still eligible the following year, they are then given the per-pupil grant to provide wraparound services. Eligibility requirements for this aid will expand annually during the span of the Blueprint to qualify more schools for aid, and funding will increase with every additional year that a school is still considered eligible for the concentration of poverty aid. This State aid will contribute to the creation of community schools and wraparound services that work to support students beyond just their academic needs.
*More information on the concentration of poverty aid and community school implementation will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-223.

Blueprint State Aid Program Amounts

This program provides additional grants to LSSs to encourage less-wealthy counties to increase their local education tax effort. MSDE accomplishes this by qualifying counties for extra aid if they meet both of the following requirements: 1) have less than 80 percent of the statewide average wealth per-pupil, and 2) provide local education funding above the local share required by the Foundation Per-Pupil Program.
*More information on the guaranteed tax base aid program will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-214.

This program provides grants to LSSs where the costs of educational services may be more costly compared to other counties due to local market and labor rates, though it does not decrease funding for LSSs with below-average costs. CWI adjustment values are fixed in Maryland statute.
*More information on the CWI aid will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-216.

This aid provides funding to LSSs for transportation services for public school students and students with disabilities. The funding increases annually to account for inflation by using the change in the Consumer Price Index for private transportation in the Washington-Baltimore area for the second preceding fiscal year as an estimate of school-provided transportation cost increases.
*More information on transportation aid will be available online soon and the funding formula is outlined in Education Article Section 5-218.

Additional Resources and Data Files

This page includes the most recent, public release of State Aid calculations in the resources section, below. The downloadable State Aid file is in Excel format so that anyone who downloads the file can see and access the exact formulas the State uses to calculate State Aid for LSSs. The Department will continue to update this page in an effort to increase public understanding about the Blueprint funding formulas and related data, which determine school funding for school districts in Maryland.

Download the FY 24 State Aid Calculation excel file (Updated June 16, 2023)

Download the FY 23 State Aid Calculation excel file (Updated June 26, 2022)