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Keyword: schools

Olszewski Response to the Built to Learn Act

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the Built to Learn Act:

“I have proudly led the fight for additional state school construction funding to provide our children and educators with the school facilities they deserve.

Thanks to leadership of Speaker Adrienne Jones and the Baltimore County delegation, we saw real progress last year as the House passed the Build to Learn Act.

I applaud Speaker Jones, Senate President Miller, and Senator Ferguson for taking up our fight, and I am confident that they will get the job done this year for communities across Maryland.”


Schools Earned $18,000 in Environmental Literacy Grants and Technology Prizes

Some 5,000 students and community volunteers have made Baltimore County a cleaner and greener place by participating in this year’s Team Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge. County Executive Johnny Olszewski, BCPS Superintendent Verletta White and Debbie Phelps, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, announced this morning that 17 County public schools were winners in this program, which resulted in 242 litter clean-ups that collected 2,400 bags of trash around the County this school year.

The Clean Green 15 winners.

At an awards ceremony yesterday morning at Chesapeake Terrace Elementary School in Edgemere, County Executive Olszewski encouraged the audience of students and faculty to think about where litter ends up. “The wind and rain washes litter into the storm drains, which lead to our streams and eventually to the Chesapeake Bay,” he said. “Litter not only looks bad in our neighborhoods, it also pollutes our waterways—and that’s harmful to wildlife, fishermen, boaters and our environment.”

“The Clean Green 15 Challenge is a hands-on, simple way for our students to protect the environment as they express pride in their schools and their communities,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White.

Clean Green 15 Results

Tons of Litter Collected, Thousands of Grant Dollars Distributed to Schools

The County Executive high-fiving students.

The 2018 to 2019 school year program resulted in 242 clean-ups conducted by 4,955 volunteers who picked up 2,394 bags of litter and debris. The number of participating BCPS schools nearly doubled this year to include 37 schools. In addition to litter, Clean Green 15 volunteers collected many tons of bulk trash items from parks, streambanks, schoolyards and other locations around Baltimore County for a total estimated weight of 31,837 pounds. Clean-ups were conducted by school groups as well as community-based volunteers.

Through this program, BCPS schools and their community supporters conducted quick 15-minute litter clean-ups, competing from last May through this April to see which school communities could log the most clean-ups. The program is open to any group, including school-based groups, places of worship, youth groups, civic or community groups, scout troops, sport teams, businesses or other organizations that wish to help clean up their community. Groups are asked to report their clean-ups on the BCPS website and designate a school to receive credit.

Winning Schools for Year 2018 to 2019

As a result of this year’s Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge, the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools awarded grants to 11 top winning schools to fund school-based instructional projects emphasizing the theme of environmental literacy. Examples could include installing a reading or rain garden, planting trees, diverting downspouts or environmental education projects. Six schools won Honorable Mention awards and received a Samsung Galaxy device.

Award Prize School
Grand Prize $3,000 grant Reisterstown Elementary School
High Schools First Prize $2,000 grant Dulaney High School
High Schools Second Prize $1,500 grant Western School of Technology and Environmental Science
High Schools Third Prize $1,000 grant Hereford High School
Middle Schools First Prize $2,000 grant General John Stricker Middle School
Middle Schools Second Prize $1,500 grant Ridgely Middle School
Middle Schools Third Prize $1,000 grant Loch Raven Academy
Elementary Schools First Prize $2,000 grant Chesapeake Terrace Elementary School
Elementary Schools Second Prize $1,500 grant Bear Creek Elementary School
Elementary Schools Third Prize $1,000 grant Grange Elementary School
Special School Prize $1,500 grant Battle Monument School
Honorable Mention Samsung Galaxy
device
Charlesmont Elementary School
Honorable Mention Samsung Galaxy
device
Fullerton Elementary School
Honorable Mention Samsung Galaxy
device
Lansdowne Elementary School
Honorable Mention Samsung Galaxy
device
Milbrook Elementary School
Honorable Mention Samsung Galaxy
device
Perry Hall Middle School
Honorable Mention Samsung Galaxy
device
Pleasant Plains Elementary School

Clean Green 15 is Underway for Next Year

In addition to awarding prizes to the winning schools from this year, officials also kicked off the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge for the next school year, with groups eligible to log clean-ups from May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020, for consideration in next year’s awards.

This is the sixth year for the challenge, which is a collaboration between Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Baltimore County Public Schools and the Education Foundation of Baltimore County. This year’s sponsors include BGE and the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability.


Education, Public Safety Top Priorities in $3.285 Billion FY19 Budget

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz delivered his State of the County address and introduced a $3.285 billion budget for fiscal year 2019 in remarks presented to the Baltimore County Council April 12, 2018. Below are highlights from the speech.

Eight Years of Progress

“Together, we’ve made tremendous progress toward a more innovative, responsible and efficient local government.”

  • 15,821 new jobs have been added in the County since I became County Executive.
  • There’s been more than $5 billion in new private investment.
  • The County has invested $1.8 billion to modernize and maintain our aging water and sewer infrastructure, plus $129 million for roads and bridges.
  • We deployed new technology that improves service to our citizens and achieves significant cost savings. Baltimore County is now ranked fourth in the nation for use of technology in government.
  • We have made an historic $1.3 billion investment to upgrade and modernize our schools.

Good Governance

The fiscal year 2019 budget does not increase property tax or income tax rates. The budget stays within spending affordability limits, and funds our schools above maintenance of effort level. The budget includes a 3% cost of living adjustment for employees, effective next January.

#1 Priority: Education

Fifty one percent of next year’s total Baltimore County operating budget is dedicated to our schools, more than $1.67 billion.

Teacher salaries have increased by 12% over the past eight years.

Schools for Our Future is a groundbreaking capital program to modernize our schools, not just for today, but to meet future enrollment needs as the County population continues to grow. This $1.3 billion initiative is building or rebuilding more than 90 schools.

Baltimore County Public Schools have one of the highest graduation rates in the State. There is no disparity in the graduation rates between African American and white students. County schools have earned national honors in music and arts education, digital learning, robotics, and more.

School Safety

Since 2011, Baltimore County has invested $13.6 million to reinforce all school doors and windows, adding security cameras and controlled entry.

“With this budget, we strengthen our school safety system by adding more professionals to help identify mental health issues that can lead to suicide and destructive behaviors.”

If adopted, the FY19 budget would add 22 social workers, 23 counselors and 18 school psychologists in Baltimore County Public Schools, plus additional pupil personnel workers, health assistants, and bus attendants. Nineteen more police School Resource Officers would be funded, increasing the County’s total to 84 officers.

Preparing our Workforce

Baltimore County College Promise

The FY19 budget includes $979,000 for the first year of Baltimore County College Promise – funding that will make college a reality for more than 1,100 students.

College opens up a lifetime of career opportunities. But the cost can mean a dead end for even the most motivated students. That’s why we launched Baltimore County College Promise, with full tuition and fees for qualified students to complete an associate’s degree or workplace certification at the Community College of Baltimore County.”

Job Connector

With low unemployment and a tight job market, companies are ready to hire today. But chronic shortages of qualified workers remain in many high-demand fields. Job Connector partners with employers, labor unions, colleges and universities to build a job-ready workforce.

“We listened to our employers and launched Job Connector, an innovative $2.5 million program that brings a supply-and-demand strategy to workforce development.”

Keeping and growing jobs

“These marquee firms chose to stay in Baltimore County because we’ve created a welcoming business climate, with a superb workforce and responsive local government.”

Stanley Black & Decker is adding 400 new jobs. Care First Blue Cross is keeping 2,200 jobs in the heart of Owings Mills. This summer, 900 McCormick & Company corporate employees will be moving to a new global headquarters in Hunt Valley. Bank of America is adding 900 jobs; 300 hired last year, with 600 more jobs on the way.

The Baltimore County Boost Loan Fund has loaned $4.3 million to small businesses in just four years, with a focus on firms owned by minorities, women, and veterans.

Over $5 billion in new private investment

Tradepoint Atlantic, the massive redevelopment of Sparrows Point, downtown Towson, Greenleigh at Crossroads in Middle River, and Foundry Row, Mill Station and Metro Centre in Owings Mills are leading new private investment and job creation.

“This is economic development that is transforming job prospects and economic opportunity for the entire region.”

Keeping communities healthy

Helping those in need

More than 98,000 people in Baltimore County are food insecure, including 30,000 children. The proposed FY19 budget includes $550,000 to support the Maryland Food Bank.

“In a time of overall prosperity, there are still too many who struggle to make ends meet. The true measure of a government is how we treat people who could use an outstretched hand to get by.”

The County has expanded services to people who experience homelessness. Three years ago the County opened a comprehensive Westside Men’s Shelter, replacing trailers. A new Eastern Family Resource Center opened last fall with expanded health services and shelter beds for men and women. Next year’s budget increases funding for all shelter services by 5%.

Reversing the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid overdoses killed 543 Baltimore County residents from 2016 through the first nine months of 2017. The County launched an aggressive program to make naloxone widely available. Our Department of Health and Human Services has already trained 3,200 residents on how to safely administer this life-saving drug.

The County also is fighting the opioid epidemic by working through the legal system to hold drug manufacturers more accountable.

Keeping communities safe

Baltimore County continues to be a very safe place to live. Since the beginning of 2018, there were five confirmed homicides in Baltimore County, down from thirteen over the same period last year.

“The early overall statistics for 2018 give us reason to be optimistic that crimes of all types will continue to decline in our county.” 

Fourteen hundred police officers have been fully trained and now wear body cameras.

Operation Connect focuses outreach by County police officers to local communities, particularly to youth. Police, firefighters and paramedics undergo rigorous training, with a renewed focus on mental health.

Fire and EMS

The FY19 budget increases funding for volunteer fire companies by 7.4%, bringing County support to $9.8 million next year.

Sustaining a Clean, Green County

“We protect the Bay through our Clean Green County initiative, restoring streambanks and shorelines, planting trees, and sweeping streets. Over eight years, the County has invested $1.8 billion to modernize and maintain our aging water and sewer systems.”

The FY2019 budget includes nearly $27 million to maintain and improve water and sewer infrastructure and reduce water main breaks and sewage spills.

Four years ago, the County opened a new single stream recycling facility to keep materials out of landfills. Sales of recycled materials have already brought the County over $30 million in revenue.

Enriching our quality of life

The County has funded a record $68 million in new parks, community centers and turf fields since 2010.

Next year’s budget includes $3.9 million to support arts, humanities and cultural organizations in Baltimore County and the region.

A $7 million state-of-the-art animal shelter in Baldwin, plus a spay/neuter program at new surgical sites across the county has led to all-time high dog and cat live release rates of 90%. The FY19 budget includes funding for a new animal cruelty investigation unit in the police department.

Respect and Diversity

Public Safety Diversity

The most recent Baltimore County police academy class was 40% women or minority. The class of EMTs and paramedics that graduated last month is 60% women or minority. The Fire Recruit Class now in session is 67% women or minority.

The Baltimore County Fire Department is recognized nationally as a leader in promoting gender diversity, with women now making up almost one quarter of its sworn members. The national average is just 4%.

Respect for All

“As a civil and moral society, we must acknowledge and respect everyone who lives here.”

“In 2017, as a result of our Executive Order, County employees, including police, may not ask a person’s immigration status. Three years ago, before Charlottesville, we removed a symbol of hate from our community, renaming Robert E. Lee Park as Lake Roland. In 2012, I proudly signed legislation that added gender identity and sexual orientation to the county's existing anti-discrimination laws.”

The County Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on May 24, 2018.

Read the full text of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s 2018 State of the County address and fiscal year 2019 Budget Message.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017