Record Student Enrollments Only Increase School Construction Pressure

As pupil counts rise, counties seek State support for school construction and a review of construction regulations and methods.

As reported in the Washington Post,

Maryland’s public school enrollment hit a record high of nearly 880,000 students this school year, with school systems along the Baltimore-Washington corridor largely driving the surge, according to new figures.

In counties with increasing enrollments, the need for new schools and school additions and renovations is especially acute.  In a recent state report, Harford County had the highest one-year increase in enrollment, with a 2.2% increase from 2014-2015.

Annual increases quickly accumulate over the span of a few years. Harford County, and others with increasing enrollment are working to budget for all needed facilities but cost estimates for school construction have also increased.

Increases in school construction costs are attributable to many factors, including the construction market, new statewide labor and environmental regulations, and technology standards for modern classrooms.

MACo’s 2016 legislative initiatives for advocacy in the General Assembly include school construction. In the initiative MACo asks the State to continue its strong support for school construction, and for an analysis of construction regulations,

MACo advocates reviewing and updating the State’s school funding formulas and guidelines to promote the smartest and most effective funding for modern schools, and urges State policymakers to retain the State’s strong commitment to this top funding priority.

For more information, see Record year for public school enrollment in Maryland and the Maryland Public School Enrollment By Race/Ethnicity and Gender and Number of Schools Report.

For more information about MACo’s school construction initiative, see MACo’s Legislative Initiatives.