Bill Strikes Alternate Route to School Facilities

Senator Rosapepe’s pre-filed bill would create new options for alternative financing in school construction, including allowing school boards to contract with counties or private entities to design-build-operate-finance-& maintain schools.

Maryland School Overcrowding Reduction Act of 2018 (SB 92 – Pre-Filed 2018) proposes several changes to existing alternative financing laws for school construction. The bill has been pre-filed in advance of the General Assembly Session that begins January 10.

In general, Maryland counties seek and support a range of tools to tackle school construction in a period of high construction costs and critical education facility needs.

MACo has cited lack of clarity in current school construction alternative financing laws vis-a-vis maintenance of effort rules as a hurdle for counties that may have otherwise experimented with alternative financing.

SB 92 expands on existing alternative financing options and allow counties and school boards to take different roles in alternative financing. The legislation maintains a county government hand in the approval of alternative financing arrangements, even as it creates new authorities for school boards.

The legislation would create a public school facility construction innovation incentive program in the State, something that may benefit exploration of these arrangements.

Senator Rosapepe of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties has discussed school construction topics with county government representatives at MACo Conferences.

For more information, see The General Assembly’s bill page for SB 92, which includes links for the bill text.