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Members of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County stand as their president Russell Leone presses the county school board earlier this month to spend more money on teachers.
Members of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County stand as their president Russell Leone presses the county school board earlier this month to spend more money on teachers. (Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette)

The Sun’s editorial, “School budget woes” (Feb. 24), makes a strong case for more funding for education. But where will those funds come from?

Traditionally, government has focused on two ways to raise money: raise taxes or cut programs, and both raise their own set of problems and concerns.

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There is a third way: finding efficiencies via smart government operations. Currently, the state, the 24 subdivisions and our 24 school systems each buy health insurance for their employees — over 200,000 people total. Thus, 49 Maryland governmental entities individually engage in a complex and expensive process to do this. Pooling these purchases is a common-sense approach to get volume discounts and better leverage in the marketplace.

In 2018, the General Assembly enacted House Bill 1400 which would encourage coordinated government purchasing for this. An analysis done by the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that savings could be up to $2,000 per employee per year while providing better coverage for all. Some jurisdictions are beginning to investigate this, and Gov. Larry Hogan needs to appoint and empower the task force created by the legislation to accelerate the process.

Doing so would be a win-win all around.

Dr. Dan Morhaim, Baltimore

The writer, a Democrat, represented District 11 (Baltimore County) in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1995 to 2019.

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