MACo: Innovative Regional Schools are a “Common-Sense Solution” Leading to Best Educational Outcomes

On Wednesday, Robin Clark Eilenberg testified alongside representatives from Queen Anne’s County and Carroll County in support of SB 653 County Boards of Education – Establishing Innovative Regional Schools – Authority (Cross-County Attendance to Achieve Efficiency Act of 2019).

This bill would enable local school boards to establish innovative regional schools, which are a common-sense solution that provide agility to school districts struggling with facility needs and shifting student enrollments.

From the MACo Testimony:

Dramatic increases in school construction costs over the past decade have hindered progress on school construction and renovation of aging facilities. Maryland’s counties provide robust capital funding to K-12 education. Every year, however, there are unmet facility needs. MACo supports innovative solutions to meet the needs of Maryland’s students.

The 21st Century School Facilities of 2017 Final Report recommended that the State explore the feasibility of regional (multi-district) school construction projects, including regional P3 zones (e.g., regional career and technical education high schools), and develop mechanisms and incentives to provide state funding. The 21st Century School Facilities Act of 2018 required that the Interagency Commission on School Construction provide technical support for agreements between and among local education agencies and county governing bodies, including regional partnerships, to promote efficiency. This legislation seems to take a reasonable step toward that goal.

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