Targeted School Construction Bill Advances

As reported in the Washington Post, $20 million in targeted additional school construction funds this year is advancing in Maryland’s General Assembly.

During capital budget decisions, The House Appropriations Committee  identified $20 million to be used for school construction projects in school systems with significant enrollment.  The allocation is contingent upon on the passage HB 923, Capital Grant Program for Local School Systems With Significant Enrollment Growth or Relocatable Classrooms, which would create a new funding program.

The program would provide additional funding to counties with school systems experiencing significant student population growth or counties with a significant number of relocatable classrooms. As described in the fiscal note,

“Significant enrollment growth” is defined as having enrollment growth that exceeds 150% of the statewide average over the past five years. “Significant number of relocatable classrooms” means an average of at least 300 relocatable classrooms over the past five years.

The Committee voted HB 923 favorable with amendments during a voting session directly following capital budget decisions. Senator Nancy King and Delegate Sheila Hixson, both of Montgomery County, are lead sponsors of the legislation.  As quoted in the Washington Post article,

“This is our best stab to come up with the right legislation and the right formula” to help school districts experiencing increasing enrollment, said state Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery County).

Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard counties also qualify for the additional funds. Montgomery, where enrollment jumped by 16,000 students in the past seven years, would receive $5.8 million, the most of any school district. Prince George’s would receive $4.8 million.

For more information, read the whole article from the Post here.

Read more information about the bill here.

Read the Capital Budget Subcommittee’s proposal here.