MACo Research Director Robin Eilenberg testified in support of Senate Bill 611, “Education – Healthy School Facility Fund – Established”, before the Senate Education and Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on February 27, 2018.
This bill establishes the Healthy School Fund which provides grant money to public schools to improve school facilities. With school construction costs increasing by over 50% in the past five years, it has been difficult for the State and count governments to keep up with school construction needs. The average school facility in the State is now 29 years old, and many require significant attention to address severe infrastructure and utility issues. This legislation begins the long road of addressing critical school building needs.
From MACo Testimony:
The State’s school facilities are an average age of 29 years, a statistic that belies many schools much older than 29 years and still in regular use. Issues such as heating failures, air quality concerns, mold, and temperature fluctuations frequently plague aging schools. Investment in updated systems and infrastructure improvements in these areas contributes to healthy learning environments. Addressing these building issues may also provide long-term cost-savings for counties, school boards, and the State of Maryland with improved energy efficiency and extended facility life.
The State’s commitment to school construction funding needs to remain strong and smart to best serve the modern needs of our schoolchildren. This grant program, which aims to fix critical building needs, supports equal access to facilities that meet basic health standards, providing a foundation for educational success.”
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