Legislative leaders announced plans to emphasize a major school construction plan in 2020 legislation – including some $2.2 Billion in project funding above the current plans.
Look for House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1 next year to be a major effort to leverage casino revenues to support a fast-tracked school construction effort, targeting a lengthy list of ready-to-go projects. Legislative leaders laid out the framework for this priority at a press conference today, held at Forest Heights Elementary School, in Prince George’s County, a currently abandoned school site in need of renovations.
Senate President Mike Miller claimed, “this will be the biggest commitment to education…ever.” House Speaker Adrienne Jones called the facility investments “long overdue,” citing her prior years of work chairing the House’s Capital Budget Committee. “Students can’t learn if their classrooms are deteriorating,” she said.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks claimed, “this is an exciting day for Prince George’s County.” Noting the school serving as the setting for the discussion, “this facility was unsafe for our students… over 50% of [the county’s school facilities] are over 50 years old.”
While the event was nominally focused on school construction, the conversation drifted into larger education issues, including the pending work on school operating funds from the Kirwan Commission. President Miller noted the Governor’s recent fundraiser, saying he’s “going to fight against all this.” Reporters inquired about details of both the school construction and Kirwan funding plans, and their effects.