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Keyword: board of education

County Executive Encourages School Board to Prioritize the Projects in Their Capital Planning

County Executive Johnny Olszewski has announced that he has identified funds in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to begin the planning process for new buildings for Towson High School and Dulaney High School. While moving forward with construction will require additional resources from the state in the upcoming legislative session, the funds will allow the county to begin the preliminary planning work for these two high schools.

"Over the next decade, we expect to have 1,700 more students than seats in our county's high schools. Our students and families deserve safe, modern school facilities, and we have a responsibility to provide them," Olszewski said. "Education is and will always be my number one priority, and as our students return to school this week, I want them and their families to know that I will not rest until they have the resources they need to receive the best education possible. I encourage the Board of Education to prioritize these high school projects in their capital spending plan."

As part of his Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message, Olszewski announced plans to develop a 10-year capital plan for school construction, which will ensure the county has a roadmap for equitable and effective allocation of school construction dollars.

"Families in these communities were promised during the previous administration that their students would benefit from much-needed new high school facilities, and I'm pleased to see that this county executive is committed to fulfilling that promise," said Councilman Wade Kach.

"Families in the Towson community deserve a school that can accommodate their needs—the current building doesn't do that. This announcement advances new high school construction in central Baltimore County, a goal shared by hundreds of students and families. I thank County Executive Olszewski for his support," said Councilman David Marks.

These funds for Towson and Dulaney are in addition to planning and design funds already allocated for Lansdowne High School, which remains the county's top high school construction priority. In addition, in his FY 2020 budget, Olszewski included the county's portion of construction funds for the remaining elementary and middle school projects planned as part of the Schools for Our Future program.

State Funding Will Move the Projects Forward

However, none of these projects can move forward without additional funds from the state. General Assembly leaders have indicated their commitment to allocating additional funds for school construction in the 2020 legislative session.

"This is a positive step forward for the Dulaney and Towson communities. The County Executive and Board of Education have been unwavering in their support, and this news is very welcome," said Yara Cheikh, Vice President of the Dulaney High School PTSA. "We plan to be partners in Annapolis this upcoming session with the County Executive's administration to advocate for additional state dollars for school construction projects across our County. We will be shovel-ready to move forward once all our funding is in place and that is very exciting."

Last week Olszewski joined members of the House Appropriations Committee as they toured schools in Baltimore County to gain a better understanding of the critical needs facing our school facilities.

"Last session I spent considerable time in Annapolis urging lawmakers to do right by our students and provide the dollars needed to build the schools that they need and deserve. I'm optimistic that next year they will take the necessary action so our students don't get left behind."


Newly Inaugurated Council, Judges and Other Officials Begin their Terms

John Olszewski, Jr. was sworn in today as Baltimore County’s fourteenth County Executive, vowing to create a more modern, transparent and open government while enhancing Baltimore County’s quality of life, strengthening the delivery of public services, and leading with innovation. More than one thousand invited guests, elected officials, County employees and members of the public celebrated the inauguration of local government officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Inaugural Ceremonies

The inaugural ceremonies took place at Towson University’s SECU Arena at 10 a.m. today with Administrative Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox administering the oath of office to Clerk of the Court Julie Ensor, who then administered oaths of office to the other elected officials including Judges of the Circuit Court Carey Deeley, Michael Finifter, Ruth Jakubowski and Dennis Robinson; Judges of the Orphans Court William Evans, Juliet Fisher and Arthur Frank; Sheriff R. Jay Fisher; Register of Wills Grace Connolly; members of the Board of Education Kathleen S. Causey, Roger B. Hayden, Julie C. Henn, Moalie S. Jose, Russell T. Kuehn, Lisa A. Mack, Rod McMillion, John H. Offerman Jr., Cheryl E. Pasteur, Lily P. Rowe and Makeda Scott; and the members of the County Council.

In the legislative branch, one new member of the Baltimore County Council, Izzy Patoka, took the oath of office along with six incumbents. The County Council members are 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk, 2nd District Councilman Izzy Patoka, 3rd District Councilman Wade Kach, 4th District Councilman Julian Jones, Jr., 5th District Councilman David Marks, 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, and 7th District Councilman Todd Crandell.

“I’m excited and looking forward to a very bright future for the County, and can’t wait to get started working with the Olszewski administration to maintain Baltimore County’s reputation of fiscal responsibility and excellent service to our constituents,” said County Council Chair Jones.

“I am humbled and honored to begin this journey, and I am ready to hit the ground running, work with my colleagues, and put communities first as we build a better Baltimore County together,” said County Executive Olszewski. 

The full text of County Executive Olszewski’s inaugural remarks, as prepared, are available on the County website.


Planning Money for Two High Schools Will be Included in Next Budget

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that he will include county planning funds for two new high schools in his FY 19 budget request.  Based upon enrollment projections, the schools would serve the Towson area and the central-northeast area.

“After numerous meetings with education experts and community leaders, it is clear that Baltimore County needs to alleviate overcrowding in the Towson area, as well as the central-northeast corridor," said Kamenetz.  "We need to resolve overcrowding at Towson High, although there are complications due to the school's designation as a County historic structure. The location of a second new school to alleviate overcrowding in the central-northeast corridor will be influenced by the pending high school enrollment reassessment currently being conducted by the school system. Nevertheless, it is clear that we need to fund two new schools to resolve overcrowding."

Although the County School Board recently added a last-minute amendment on Tuesday to its capital budget, calling for two new high schools at specific locations, there is insufficient time for the school system to provide necessary data to state officials to be considered by the state during its fall review. However, the commitment by County Executive Kamenetz for county planning money will ensure that planning for two new high schools can continue at the county level.

By 2026, the school system projects that Towson High will be 456 students over state-rated capacity. The same study indicates that two schools in the central-northeast corridor also face overcrowding, with Dulaney High School at 188 students over state-rated capacity by 2026, and Perry Hall High at 234 students overcapacity. Kamenetz's high school plans would eliminate the projected overcrowding.

Schools for Our Future

When County Executive Kamenetz was elected in 2010, Baltimore County faced overcrowded schools and outdated school buildings.

In response, Kamenetz crafted a $1.3 billion dollar Schools for Our Future program, the largest single investment in school construction in the history of the County, building 16 new schools, and 15 renovations and additions.

During this initiative, Baltimore County has contributed $2 to every state dollar for school construction. “Baltimore County is not alone in its need for new schools,” said Kamenetz. “Governor Hogan must increase the state’s contribution for school construction if school districts all over the state are to remain competitive.”


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017