Montgomery County Announces School Construction Funding Initiative

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today joined County, school and State officials in urging the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly to support legislation that would benefit Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) similar to a bill passed last year for the Baltimore City Public Schools, as reported by the County’s Press Office.

The legislation would jumpstart a public school building program to increase capacity and modernize facilities in response to MCPS’ double-digit enrollment surge that is expected to continue unabated into the future, the News Release describes.

From 2000-2012, MCPS grew by 14,599 students — more than the growth of Anne Arundel, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties COMBINED over the same period. The County’s unprecedented increase in enrollment is the highest in the State and nearly half of MCPS schools are projected to have seat deficits by the 2018-2019 school year.

County Executive Isiah Leggett, who serves on MACo’s Board of Directors, pointed to Maryland’s national leadership in education and the importance of an educated workforce to the Montgomery County economy.

“We are known nationally for our school system, which contributes directly to our ability to attract and retain an educated workforce, business and industry,” said Leggett. “To maintain the County’s role as a key economic engine of the State of Maryland, we cannot allow our double-digit school enrollment increases – the highest in the State — to jeopardize our attractiveness as a place to work and live. That is why I am calling upon the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly to help us deal with our enrollment crisis. Despite the County’s efforts to fund the capital needs of MCPS over the past seven years – even under the shadow and the challenges of the Great Recession — we have not been able to meet capacity and modernization needs. The longer MCPS is behind in providing adequate school capacity, the more difficult and expensive it will be to catch up.”

For more information, see this press release from Montgomery County, and this coverage from the Washington Post.