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Chris Van Hollen runs new ad on school funding

Rep. Chris Van Hollen's campaign for Senate launched a new television advertisement on Thursday that focuses on his effort in the General Assembly more than a decade ago to rewrite the state's school funding formula.

The 2002 law, which was based on recommendations from an independent commission, set a per pupil funding formula for schools that was adjusted for income and property values -- a system that was seen as benefiting school districts like Baltimore's.

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The message in the stark ad -- replete with images of an empty classroom and school buses parked behind barbed wire -- is an important one for Van Hollen, in part because it is a policy he can point to that specifically helped Baltimore, a battleground in the race for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's seat.

He is also running against Rep. Donna F. Edwards -- an African American who frequently touts the need for her perspective in the mostly white Senate -- and the ad's message is clearly targeted at the idea that he has delivered for communities of color.

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"Although we were all one Maryland, our schools weren't treated the same way," state Sen. Delores G. Kelley of Baltimore County says in the ad. "It didn't matter where Chris was from. He knew that we couldn't leave a child having less just because he lived in a region that was poor."

The ad is running on broadcast and cable television in the Baltimore region. The primary is set for April 26.

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