How 75% of State School Construction Funding May Be Spent

The Interagency Commission on School Construction takes the first step in reviewing funding for the fiscal 2020 year’s capital budget for school construction.

This is the first season of school capital budgeting under the modified process laid out by the General Assembly in its 2018 law, the 21st Century School Facilities Act.

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The Interagency Commission on School Construction plows through their agenda on this snowy morning, including the first take on FY2020 state school construction funding.

The Interagency Commission, created by that 2018 law, heard a presentation on the new process, and a quick overview of some of the recommendations that have been made by staff for the Commission’s consideration.

Capital improvement program timeline and process:

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The recommendations were made following project-by-project review by Commission staff and representatives of Maryland’s Departments of Education, Planning, and General Services. The presented draft represents county-level totals derived from priorities identified by local school systems and discussions with local school system representatives.

During the presentation, Karen Salmon, the State Superintendent of Schools, asked for a description of the review process, and stated the importance of the Commission’s responsibility to develop the annual Capital Improvement Plan.

This is one of the most important duties at this Commission. We will give it careful consideration. – Secretary of Education Karen Salmon speaking about the Capital Improvement Plan

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Differences between local requests and approvals for school funding were shared in the staff’s presentation at the IAC meeting. See the video (link below), at about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Bob Gorrell, the Executive Director of the Public School Construction program shared his focus on coming to agreement with local school systems regarding priorities in order to quickly advance project timelines.

“Today, we are sending this preliminary approval list out to all of the local school systems and beginning a discussion about the figures. The intent is to come to the December meeting fully in agreement with local partners in regard to the projects that will be funded. This early, actionable information will potentially cut six months out of the process and save a percent of project costs.” – Bob Gorrell, Executive Director of the Public School Construction Program

According to the process, on December 13, 2018, the IAC will hear any appeals regarding the 75% allocations and they will finalize the allocations by December 31, 2018.

For more information, review the IAC’s meeting minutes and view video of the meeting.