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Keyword: olszewski

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."


Expansion Creates Greater Opportunity for Students to Attend CCBC Tuition-free 

More Baltimore County residents now have access to a debt-free college education thanks to expanded eligibility for the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, with support from the Baltimore County Council, increased the income level that qualify for the program from $85,000 to $150,000, allowing more middle-class residents the opportunity to attend Community College of Baltimore County free of tuition and fees.

Photo of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski speaking

“Education is my number one priority, and that doesn’t stop when students graduate from our public school system. Higher education can open countless doors of opportunities for our students, and that’s why we’re taking steps to expand access to the opportunities available at our community colleges,” Olszewski said.

Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship Growth

Photo of a group holding Got Promise signs

The Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship has experienced tremendous growth since it was introduced in the spring of 2018. Last year, 111 scholarships were awarded. Today, there are nearly 400 Baltimore County College Promise scholarship recipients and that number continues to grow. With the expanded income eligibility requirements, CCBC expects a boost in inquiries as well as qualified students.

“The increased income requirements is a real game-changer for Baltimore County residents,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “Too often middle-class Americans are left out of opportunities like this. Their income is too high to qualify for Pell grants; yet, too low to enable them to send their children to community college full-time. The Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship is allowing academically-prepared students the opportunity to earn a college education debt-free. We are fortunate to have legislators who believe in the importance of public higher education and are willing to invest dollars behind this life-changing program.”

Eligibility Requirements

Photo of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski standing next to three others

In addition to the income requirement, other eligibility requirements include: 

  • Be a Baltimore County resident
  • Have a GPA of 2.3 or higher
  • Be a 2015 to 2019 high school or external diploma degree graduate
  • Be enrolled full-time at CCBC (12 credits or more) 

Baltimore County College Promise scholarships cover all degree and certificate programs as well as select workforce training certification programs. The scholarship is calculated as a “last dollar in” award, meaning that it is applied after all other financial awards and state aid have been utilized.

CCBC student and scholarship recipient Christa Bryant says the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship is making her pursuit of an associate degree stress-free.

“My mother, who is retired, no longer has to consider going back to work to help me cover my tuition,” says Bryant. “I can now take a full load of classes and not spend sleepless nights worrying about how to pay the bill.”


Students can apply for the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship throughout the year. Watch the press event and, for complete application details, visit www.ccbcmd.edu/collegepromise.

About the Community College of Baltimore County 

Photo of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski speaking in the foreground with someone looking on in the background

Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 60,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. CCBC is nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies, among the nation’s top associate degree producers, and designated as a Military Times Best College 2018.

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


County Joins Nationwide Network of Communities Dedicated to Improving Quality of Life for All Residents

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today launched the Age-Friendly Baltimore County initiative, an effort that aims to ensure all people, regardless of age, who live, work, play, raise their families and age in Baltimore County do so with the best quality of life possible.

"A better Baltimore County is one where all residents feel welcome and can take comfort in knowing that their needs are being met," Olszewski said. "Building such a community requires all partners and stakeholders working together and Age-Friendly Baltimore County will bring us together to work toward this important goal."

It is projected that 25 percent of Baltimore County residents will be 60 or older by 2020. Recognizing the importance of building communities where all residents can thrive, Olszewski and the Baltimore County Department of Aging earlier this year applied to the World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP to receive an age-friendly community designation.

Age-Friendly Communities commit to improving livability through an assessment of needs, development of an action plan, implementation of new projects and programs, and ongoing assessment—all with the involvement of residents and stakeholder partners. The eight areas of focus are:

  1. Outdoor spaces and buildings
  2. Transportation
  3. Housing
  4. Social participation
  5. Respect and social inclusion
  6. Civic participation and employment
  7. Communication and information
  8. Community support and health services

"Our residents are an integral, vibrant part of our communities, and we owe it to all of them to ensure we are cultivating an inclusive, accessible community that boosts their quality of life," said Laura Riley, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging.

Launching the Initiative

Olszewski and Riley joined the AARP, Attorney General Brian Frosh, and representatives from more than 50 organizations to launch Age-Friendly Baltimore County at an event at Towson University. Attendees signed up to participate in working groups organized around the focus areas of the initiative.

"The benefits to communities that recognize and incorporate the needs of citizens of all ages cannot be overstated. In just 11 years—by 2030—all 77 million baby boomers will be 65-plus," said AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg. "With admission into the AARP (World Health Organization) network, Baltimore County will benefit from inclusion in a global network of nearly 400 jurisdictions committed to giving all residents the opportunity to live rewarding, productive and safe lives in communities intentionally designed for the continuum of life."

The initiative is a five-year process that will result in various policies and improvements. The first year will focus on establishing an advisory group and gathering input from the community in a variety of settings, including focus groups, listening sessions, workgroups and surveys. In year two, the advisory group will work with the county to develop an action plan. In years three to five, the county will focus on implementation of the action plan. Following implementation, the county will report on its progress.

Learn more about the Age Friendly Communities Network from the WHO or AARP. For more information about Baltimore County’s efforts, visit the Department of Aging.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017