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Date: Oct 2, 2019

County Executive Calls on Governor to Release School Construction Funding

With several Baltimore County schools closed today due to excessive heat, County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that he has identified up to $16 million in matching funds for air conditioning and heating units in county schools that do not have air conditioning.

These funds will be matched by $13.4 million in state funding awarded by the Maryland Interagency Commission on School Construction’s Healthy School Facility Fund.

Olszewski Calls on Governor Hogan to Release Funding

Although Baltimore County will move forward with these temporary air conditioning units, Olszewski called on Governor Hogan to release the $127 million in school construction funding that he has withheld.

“Baltimore County is grateful for the state’s partnership and is ready to invest in these solutions for our children, families, and educators. However, while we are ready to act now, our students deserve long-term solutions, not quick fixes,” Olszewski said.“We again call on Governor Hogan to release severely needed school construction funds so every child in every community can have the safe, nurturing learning environment they deserve.”

At least two of the schools that will receive funds for air conditioning units from the Healthy School Facility Fund, including Bedford Elementary School and Lansdowne High school, are scheduled to be torn down and replaced in the coming years.

Funding Details

During the 2019 legislative session, the General Assembly identified $127 million in FY2020 funds to help local jurisdictions address aging school infrastructure. However, Governor Hogan has refused to release this significantly needed funding.

Baltimore County’s share of these state funds would help the County move forward with Schools for Our Future, a program delayed because of the State’s funding timeline. Baltimore County has eight more projects to complete under the Schools for our Future program. Additionally, in preparation for future high school projects, Baltimore County has included $15 million for planning and design at Lansdowne High School and recently committed planning funds for both Towson and Dulaney High Schools.

Projects funded with the Healthy School Facility Fund and the county’s matching funds are estimated to be complete by spring of 2021. The schools that will receive air conditioning units are: Bedford Elementary School, Catonsville Center for Alternative Studies, Dulaney High School, Eastern Technical High School, Lansdowne High School, and Western School of Technology/Science. Hampton Elementary School will get a boiler replacement.

Revised October 16, 2020               
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