Article - Education
(a) (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “County program amount” means, for each county, the product of the per pupil amount and the prekindergarten enrollment.
(3) “Family share” means the amount calculated under subsection (e) of this section rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
(4) “Local share” means, for each county, the result of the county program amount minus the State share rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
(5) “Per pupil amount” means:
(i) In fiscal year 2023, $10,094;
(ii) In fiscal year 2024, $11,594;
(iii) In fiscal year 2025, $13,003;
(iv) In fiscal year 2026, $14,473;
(v) In fiscal year 2027, $15,598;
(vi) In fiscal year 2028, $16,811;
(vii) In fiscal year 2029, $18,118;
(viii) In fiscal year 2030, $19,526; and
(ix) In subsequent fiscal years, the per pupil amount for the prior fiscal year increased by the inflation adjustment rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
(6) “Prekindergarten enrollment” means:
(i) Beginning in fiscal year 2023, the number of Tier I children enrolled with an eligible prekindergarten provider; and
(ii) Beginning in fiscal year 2025, the number of Tier I and Tier II children enrolled with an eligible prekindergarten provider.
(7) “State share” means, for each county, rounded to the nearest whole dollar, the following calculations multiplied by 0.5:
(i) Multiply the per pupil amount by the county’s prekindergarten enrollment;
(ii) Divide the result calculated under item (i) of this paragraph by the ratio, rounded to seven decimal places, of local wealth per pupil to statewide wealth per pupil; and
(iii) Multiply the result calculated under item (ii) of this paragraph by the result, rounded to seven decimal places, that results from dividing the total program amount by the sum of all of the results calculated under item (ii) of this paragraph for all counties.
(8) “Tier I child” has the meaning stated in § 7–1A–01 of this article.
(9) “Tier II child” has the meaning stated in § 7–1A–01 of this article.
(10) “Tier III child” has the meaning stated in § 7–1A–01 of this article.
(11) “Total program amount” means the product of the per pupil amount and the statewide prekindergarten enrollment.
(b) To be eligible for public funding, a prekindergarten provider shall comply with Title 7, Subtitle 1A of this article.
(c) (1) (i) As calculated under subsection (d) of this section, there is a State share and local share of the per pupil amount for Tier I children.
(ii) There is no family share for Tier I children.
(2) As calculated under subsection (e) of this section and beginning in fiscal year 2025, there is a State share, local share, and family share of the per pupil amount for Tier II children.
(3) Tier III children are not eligible for funding under this section.
(d) (1) For public providers, each fiscal year:
(i) The State shall distribute the State share to each county board; and
(ii) The county board shall distribute to each public provider the minimum school funding amount for prekindergarten calculated under § 5–234 of this subtitle.
(2) For private providers, each fiscal year:
(i) The State shall distribute the State share for private providers to the Department;
(ii) The county shall distribute the local share for private providers to the Department; and
(iii) The Department shall distribute the State and local share to the private providers.
(e) (1) On or before July 1, 2022, the Department shall establish a sliding scale to calculate the family share required for Tier II children.
(2) The sliding scale developed by the Department shall be increased on a linear basis with:
(i) A lower limit of $0 per pupil for a family with an income that is 300% of the federal poverty level; and
(ii) An upper limit of the per pupil amount for a family with an income that is more than 300% but less than 600% of the federal poverty level.
(3) (i) Beginning in fiscal year 2025, the family shall pay the family share to the publicly funded prekindergarten provider.
(ii) A county board may provide up to 100% of the family share on behalf of the family.
(f) Income–eligible families shall have access to extended day services through the Child Care Scholarship Program under Title 9.5, Subtitle 9 of this article.
(g) The Department, county boards, and eligible prekindergarten providers shall work together to address the transportation needs of children enrolled in eligible prekindergarten providers.
(h) On or before November 1, 2021, the Department shall report to the Accountability and Implementation Board and, in accordance with § 2–1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly on:
(1) Plans for an income verification process to determine eligibility for Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III status of a child;
(2) Administrative procedures for distributing the funds required under subsection (d) of this section;
(3) (i) Providing families with the ability to indicate a preference for the public or private prekindergarten program in which to enroll the child; and
(ii) Communicating with families that the ability to choose to enroll a child in a public provider outside the family’s attendance area is available only for prekindergarten;
(4) Recommendations for the methodology the Department will use to calculate the State, local, and family share for Tier II children under the sliding scale developed under subsection (e) of this section; and
(5) Recommendations on whether to extend the prekindergarten supplemental grant provided under § 5–232 of this subtitle.