Baltimore County Details School Improvement Ambitions

This week, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance detailed their needs for school facility improvements, including widely-reported needs for air conditioning in numerous school buildings.

The Baltimore Sun coverage (limited free views available) included a summary of the financial requests from the county leaders:

Kamenetz, a Democrat, announced an accelerated plan for renovating old schools and adding air conditioning — a plan he said would work only if the state agrees to speed up its contributions to school construction.

“If the state really wants to help us … they need to take money in future years and advance it, or accelerate it, so that together we can all get the job done sooner,” Kamenetz said.

He offered specifics for the first time Tuesday, saying if the state could pony up $175 million over the next three years, the county could get all of its schools renovated with air conditioning by December 2019.

Kamenetz said he’s not asking for more money than the county would be due, but rather asking for a faster distribution of the money from the state.

“What we are asking the state to do is advance funds that they might otherwise give us in out years, and we will then advance our funds and then we can get the job done sooner,” Kamenetz said.

The announcement comes as the latest item in a continuing “war of words” between the County and the Governor and Comptroller, who cited facility issues during recent meetings of the Board of Public Works.

Read the full Sun coverage, and see the WMAR television summary, on the Baltimore Sun website.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties