Education, Politics

Olszewski issues testimony in support of school construction funding in Annapolis

TOWSON, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday testified before state leaders in Annapolis in support of HB 1—Built to Learn Act, legislation that would provide much-needed, state school construction funding.

Baltimore County has funded $242 million in shovel-ready school construction projects.

These projects cannot move forward without increased state investment and additional needs remain, including several Baltimore County high schools.

Olszewski made school construction funding a top priority for the 2020 General Assembly session.

The full text of the submitted testimony is available below:

Bill Number: HB 1
Title: Built to Learn Act of 2020
Sponsor: The Speaker
Committee: Appropriations
Position: SUPPORT
Date: January 23, 2020

Baltimore County SUPPORTS House Bill 1—Built to Learn Act of 2020.

Baltimore County’s Schools for Our Future program was launched in 2011 with the intention of spending $1.6 billion on critically needed school renovation and construction projects. The goal of the program was to eliminate overcrowding in elementary schools and modernize our facilities. We have made great strides because of this program. In Baltimore County, we have built nine new schools, made additions at seven schools and air-conditioned 59 schools.

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But the work is far from done. The County has budgeted $242 million in shovel-ready construction projects, which cannot move forward without essential investments from the State. With some of the oldest school stock in the state, the Built to Learn Act would provide $462 million needed for completing these critical projects.

As a former educator, County Executive Olszewski has dedicated his time in office to modernizing Baltimore County’s schools and building a better future for our residents. By supporting the funding for these crucial projects, this bill would bring significant benefits for students, educators, families, and communities in Baltimore County and across the State.

Accordingly, Baltimore County requests a favorable report on HB 1.

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