MACo Calls for State-Calculated Square Footage to Reflect Real School Needs

On Tuesday, Robin Clark Eilenberg submitted written testimony in support of HB 512 Public School Construction – Maximum Gross Area Allowance for English Learner Students.

This bill seeks to align English language learners with other special education categories within the State’s school construction area allowance.

From the MACo Testimony:

Several variables, including the age of students, the overall school population, and the types of students served in a school contribute to the State’s maximum square foot allowance for a school. While the formula makes accommodations for schools with special education and career and technical education students, there is no special consideration for schools with English language learners.

Special instruction for students who do not speak English as a first language is often held concurrent with other classes. And, when additional classroom space is not available, English language education must occur in hallways or other common spaces that do not provide the quiet environment required to process language. This legislation could provide an additional 30 square feet or more for English Language Learner students to accommodate the space needs for language instruction.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.