Governor Martin O'Malley, Board of Public Works Hold Third Annual "Hope-a-Thon" for School Construction Funding
$1.2 billion invested in school construction over three years
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 20, 2010) –Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, today met with Superintendents from school systems across the state at the annual “Hope-a-thon” for the allocation of the remaining $62.5 million in public school construction funding. Governor O’Malley has proposed $250 million in school construction funding for FY 2011. Over the last three years, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has awarded more than $1.2 billon to local jurisdictions for school construction and renovation projects.
The “hope-a-thon,” formerly known as the “beg-a-thon” was implemented by the Board of Public Works to allow school superintendents to have a more meaningful conversation with the Board of Public Works on their jurisdiction’s key school priorities.
“For a second year in a row, Education Week has ranked Maryland’s public schools #1 in the nation, and it is because of the important investments we have made in our public schools over the last three years,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Even during these difficult economic times, we’ve continued to fully fund efforts to build new, state-of-the-art classrooms, integrate curriculum across all grade levels, and hire and retain the nation’s best educators. We must continue to protect these critical education investments for our children’s future and the future of our workforce.”
Today, superintendents from 18 local school systems in Maryland appeared before the Board of Public Works to discuss school construction projects in their local jurisdictions. Currently, $62.5 million of the total $250 million in state aid for public school construction funding remains unallocated. The recommendations are made by the State’s Interagency Committee on School Construction.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has made record investments over the last three years totaling over $1.26 billion in public school construction and renovation. The Governor’s FY 2011 proposed budget includes record levels of funding for K-12 Education, totaling $5.7 billion, making it the largest component of the State’s General Fund budget. The O’Malley-Brown Administration has also included $92.4 million in teacher and librarian pensions, bringing the total to $866.7 million over the last three years. In addition, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has included an additional $99.1 million to close the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their peers, and has included $8.4 million for the State’s first public residential boarding school, the SEED School in Baltimore City.
Last week, Maryland’s public school system was ranked number one in the nation, for a second year in a row according to Education Week. Each year, Education Week issues an education report card.