As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you all very much,… Let’s have some applause for Sydney Johnson. And can we have a round of applause for our tour guides, proud Germantown Elementary students Niyah Parker and Steven Hernandez?
It’s great to return here to Germantown Elementary School – led by my friend Principal Walter Reap. And it’s great to be here with the pride of Annapolis, the longest serving Speaker in the storied history of the Maryland General Assembly,… Mike Busch.
And it’s great to join Delegate Jones, Dr. Maxwell, Dr. Sadusky, and Assistant Principle Walsh.
We just had a great tour,… we spoke with students in Mrs. Giustiniani’s state-of-the art-science lab and Ms. Murphy’s computer lab. We saw learning come alive, as teachers taught their lesson plans with the assistance of cutting-edge, Smart Boards. We viewed a demonstration of handheld quiz machines that calculate instant assessment results. We saw the difference it makes to have a facility with 59% greater capacity than the 43-year old dinosaur it replaces.
Under any circumstances this would be great to see. But to see it here at Germantown Elementary, where a just few short years ago, students were asked to learn in temporary learning shacks,… it says a lot about the progress that we’ve been able to make together as a people these past five years, with strategic, targeted investments in school construction.
Do you know what else says a lot about these investments? Record MSA scores. Rising NAEP scores. And Education Week magazine saying for three years in a row that together we’ve built America’s #1 best public schools. We’re keeping our fingers crossed they’ll give us some more good news on Thursday.
$372 MILLION INVESTMENT TO RECAPITALIZE MARYLAND’S FUTURE
It was only a few short years ago, when the Kopp Commission rightfully declared that we had a “crisis in school construction in our State.”
And so in December 2005, Anthony Brown and I came to what was then Germantown Elementary 43 year old building. We saw the temporary learning shacks, and began an honest dialogue with the people of our State about choices and priorities.
In 2010, we came back to Germantown Elementary. At the time, construction was under way on this new facility, with the help of a $6.2 million investment from your State government. Here at this school, we set a goal of investing $250 million each year in school construction, to replace temporary learning shacks with modern investments.
Today, we’re here to do $100 million better. We’re asking the General Assembly to invest $372 million in FY2013 to recapitalize Maryland’s future with new investment in school construction.
Combined with the local dollars it will leverage, we estimate that this investment will support 11,650 jobs.
Our proposal asks for three connected investments: $15 million for the Qualified Zone Academy Bond Program, $6.1 million for the Aging Schools Program, and a job creating $351 million capital investment in the Public School Construction Program.
$351 million represents one of the two largest capital investments we will have ever made as a people in school construction (second only to the $402 million we invested in FY2008).
TO CREATE JOBS, A MODERN ECONOMY REQUIRES MODERN INVESTMENTS
Why choose to invest at the same time we’re reducing spending? Because in an Innovation Economy, like Maryland’s, the investments we make together in school construction, are literally the building blocks of greater job creation and opportunity.
And they are creating jobs as well. This new school building alone created 250 construction jobs.
To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments. That’s not a Democratic or Republican idea, it’s an American idea, an historic and economic truth that we have proved out time and time again.
It’s something we’ve proven in Maryland, where last year, through November (the most recent month for which we have data) we created 27,000 net new jobs in our State,… not by chance, but by choice,… with targeted, strategic, modern investments and the same time we cut historic levels of spending.
Creating more jobs and expanding opportunity will require more of the same balanced choices – a balanced approach of fiscally responsible cuts and targeted, modern investments to recapitalize Maryland’s future.