School Boards, Counties Raise Concerns with School Construction Proposals

MACo and the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) submitted letters to the School Facilities Assessment and Funding Workgroup for consideration before the Workgroup adopts its final recommendations on November 19, 2019. Both MACo and MABE identified several major policy concerns with the draft report’s recommendations and believe that the Workgroup should defer any final funding and policy recommendations until the statewide school facilities assessment has been completed. MACo's letter focused on a few…

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School Construction Press Conference Highlights a General Assembly in Transition
Senate President Mike Miller, Courtesy of Maryland General Assembly
School Construction Press Conference Highlights a General Assembly in Transition

A Maryland Matters article (2019-11-07) highlighted the challenges faced by Maryland General Assembly in transition, particularly as Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller prepares to pass the mantle of leadership on to Baltimore City Senator Bill Ferguson. The article reported that during a press conference in Prince George's County over school construction (which will be a top priority of both chambers with funding legislation being introduced as House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1) it fell to Miller…

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Mayor Young on WYPR’s “Midday” Talks Politics, Policing, Water, and Education

Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young joined WYPR radio show "Midday" and discussed a wide range of topics - including the City's daunting challenge to aggressively fund education. Mayor Jack Young stepped into his current role as Mayor last year, and has quickly faced up to a series of challenges with City government, service, and politics. On the public radio show "Midday" he talked with host Tom Hall about all of this and more. Listen to…

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Legislative Leaders Tout 2020 “Built To Learn Act” For School Construction

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…

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Change Order: Is a Shift in School Construction Funding on the Way?

MACo's Winter Conference on December 4-6, 2019 will discuss many topics that will affect the future of Maryland. A roundtable discussion on school construction funding will be one of the first sessions of the conference. As Maryland's school buildings age, officials are faced with difficult decisions about what to do next. Modern education requires modern updates and tools to teach today's schoolchildren. But that's not cheap and budgets are stretched as it is. This roundtable…

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Capital Debt Affordability Committee Recommends Bond Authorization of $1,095 Million For FY 21

The State’s Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) chaired by State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, approved a recommendation during its meeting on October 17th to set the State’s bond authorization at $1,095 million as the maximum amount of general obligation bonds to be authorized for fiscal year 2021, and for planning purposes, $10 million annual increases (roughly 1% per year) in future fiscal years. The vote to approve the recommendation was 3-2, with Treasurer Kopp and Comptroller…

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Gardner’s State of the County Address Focuses on “Liveable Frederick”

The state of Frederick County is strong, vibrant, and on the move, County Executive Jan Gardner said during her annual State of the County Address last week. “Livable Frederick lays the foundation for our bright future so we can make life better for the people who call Frederick home,” County Executive Gardner said. “We’ve embraced our rich history, invested in our people and places, and taken care of our citizens. We are leading the way…

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Washington County Invests in Existing School Facilities

The Herald-Mail Media reports that Washington County Public Schools undertook 113 facilities projects and major work at 14 buildings over the course of the summer. Maintenance and upgrades to current school buildings can help extend their useful life. As reported by Herald-Mail Media, Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Proulx said any investment the system can make in maintaining its infrastructure is beneficial because the district doesn’t know what the lifecycle of its buildings will be. For…

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Debt Affordability Committee Discusses GASB 87 and State Tax-Supported Debt

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) held the second of three annual meetings in the process of recommending a level of capital debt for the State. During the second CDAC meeting, Christian Lund, Director of Debt Management for the State Treasurer's Office, took the members through the CDAC Workgroup Report on Implementation of GASB 87. The workgroup looked at the new guidance under GASB 87, which determines which leases should be considered capital leases versus…

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Debt Affordability Committee Starts Work Toward Setting Spending Limits

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee holds the first of three annual meetings in the process of recommending a level of capital debt for the State. The Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) is required to submit to the Governor and the General Assembly each year an estimate of the maximum amount of new general obligation debt that prudently may be authorized for the next fiscal year. In the past, CDAC has been required to submit its final…

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