House Bill 1495 would establish educational facilities sufficiency standards and a facility condition index and use the index to rank all of Maryland’s public schools. This can help accurately inform the State and counties about what school construction needs exist here in Maryland. However, the indexing of facilities through a ranking system are a concern because it would be difficult for the index to properly take into account all of the factors and priorities that go into local decision making with school construction.
MACo Research Director Robin Eilenberg testified in support with amendments of HB 1495 before the House Appropriations Committee on March 8, 2018.
From MACo Testimony:
HB 1495 will contribute to the understanding of statewide school construction needs through a statewide facility assessment. However, the bill’s requirement to develop a facility condition index and ranking may have negative consequences. As needs are assessed, the ability of local governments to guide school construction funding priorities must be preserved.”
For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.