Pack It In – Proposal Seeks To Increase Efficiency And Provide Flexibility In School Construction

Staff to the Interagency Commission on School Construction reach out to county governments and other stakeholders for input into recommendations to an upcoming work group on school construction. The recommendations for state funding for public school construction removes hard caps on square footage eligible for state funding participation while continuing to encourage space-efficient schools.  Maryland's public schools are built through a partnership between the State of Maryland and Maryland's counties, who both provide funding for school…

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The Wrong Rules for Building Modern Schools

Some State regulations work against efficiency and best practices in building educational facilities that suit contemporary teaching methods, provide flexibility for changing curricula, and support student safety and accessibility.  Most people know that students need a desk to do their work and a table to eat, but when it comes to the State's contributions toward school construction costs, those items, along with many others, are considered "ineligible" expenses. That means that even in the poorest…

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Frederick Council Passes Bill to Adjust School Construction Fees

The Frederick County Council yesterday approved a bill to adjust school construction fees assessed on developers whose projects fail the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) Schools test. APFOs are used to slow or restrict growth until adequate infrastructure or public services are in place to serve the new population of residents. According to WFMD: These builders can either build the new school capacity and let their projects go forward, or they could stop building homes until the schools are…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Split the Check for School Construction? Not So Fast…

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally is joined by MACo's Research Director, Robin Eilenberg, to discuss school construction in Maryland. For many years the State-county partnership on school construction has been strong, with the Department of Legislative Services reporting that from fiscal 2006 through 2013, the State provided $2.4 billion in new funds for school construction while Counties provided $2.1 billion for school construction. Increases in school construction costs in recent years, however,…

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It’s Not Apples-to-Apples in School Construction Funding

In Maryland, the State shares school construction costs with counties, but the State only considers some construction costs eligible for funding. The State of Maryland contributes to school construction funding. The contribution varies from a minimum of 50% to 100%. Those percentages, however, belie the fact that the State does not consider all school construction costs as eligible for its funding. Many costs of construction are excluded from the formula before the percentage is even…

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Home High-Cost Home

Based on national data, Maryland county residents have relatively high median mortgage owner costs, with 19 counties in the highest bracket. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released data compiling county-by-county statistics on 2016 housing costs. As NACo reports, 64% of all counties nationally have median monthly homeowner costs of more than $1000. NACo's data shows the median monthly owner costs for mortgaged housing for all counties in the nation. Housing costs are an…

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Pry Back the Door on School Construction Funding

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee enters a discussion of State and County school facility funding as they work towards a recommendation on the State's debt levels.  The second of three meetings of the Capital Debt Affordability Committee included questions and comments from the committee's membership, which include State Treasurer Kopp, and State Budget Secretary Brinkley, and State Comptroller Franchot. The Committee heard presentations from the Department of Budget and Management and the Director of Public…

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MACo Legislative Committee Hears Update on School Safety

John Woolums, Director of Government Relations, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), briefed MACo’s Legislative Committee Wednesday, September 12, 2018, on school safety initiatives. SB 1265, Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018, passed the General Assembly on the final day of the 2018 legislative session and has been signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. The legislation creates a variety of statewide standards and guidelines on school safety. Along with presenting a comprehensive overview…

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Luckily, It’s Not in Latin

The Maryland Interagency Commission on School Construction holds its first meeting, making decisions on school safety grant funding, local projects, and its new letterhead. As a result of the 21st Century School Facilities Act, which was made law through a veto override of the General Assembly this year, a new Commission on Public School Construction was created. The Commission held its first meeting today and they handled everything from mundane technical decisions, such as approval…

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Governor Hogan Closes 2018 Summer #MACoCon Talking Education, Environment, and Highway User Revenues

  Maryland Governor Larry Hogan provided the closing remarks to the 2018 MACo Summer Conference on August 18, 2018. Hogan highlighted several issues important to county governments during his speech, including economic development, education, the environment, health, and transportation. Hogan thanked county leaders for their dedication to Maryland and their local communities. "Real leadership isn't about making empty promises, it is about making tough choices," Hogan stated. He praised the MACo Summer Conference for both…

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