ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Senate on Wednesday added a small line item to the state budget that could help Frederick High School in a big way.
Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, made a motion on the floor of the senate to add a $10,000 appropriation for the Linking Youth to New Experiences (LYNX) program at Frederick High School.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) included $336,599 for LYNX — which is envisioned as a pilot program for possible broader adoption statewide — in his proposed operating budget earlier this year. The full amount was cut by the House of Delegates last week.
Delegate David E. Vogt III, R-District 4, said Department of Legislative Services analysts originally recommended the budget cut because a bill authorizing the LYNX program last year indicated it would be funded through grants or by the local government. Last summer, Frederick County Public Schools learned it did not win a $10 million grant for the program.
During the budget process this year, the Maryland State Department of Education opposed the proposed cut before it went through.
Vogt said he heard from FCPS after the budget had already been passed by the House Appropriations Committee that the money was needed. He and other lawmakers hoped it could be restored in the Senate chamber.
King, in making her motion Wednesday, said the $10,000 line item was needed to open a door for a larger appropriation when budget negotiators meet to resolve House and Senate versions of the budget bill.
“We are putting $10,000 back into the budget so we can go to conference and maybe do a little bit more for them,” King said. “But it’s a really good education program in Frederick and we want to make sure it continues.”
The LYNX program is planned to get underway next fall. It is designed to give students flexibility in how they take courses, encouraging different time slots and options for classes, as well as including more internships out of the building.
Brad Young, president of the Frederick County Board of Education, was reserved but optimistic when he learned the money was back in the budget.
“Obviously we’re pleased to get that, but until it’s done, it’s a little premature to comment,” Young said. “...We would be happy to receive it.”
The funding for LYNX represents a small sliver of overall state spending.
Both the House and Senate chambers have passed versions of the roughly $43.5 billion budget. A conference committee will start to work through differences in the two budget bills as early as the end of the week.
Staff writer Jeremy Bauer-Wolf contributed to this report.