Legislative Leaders to Propose Major School Construction Plan

    House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County). File photo

    Maryland’s legislative leaders are expected to announce plans for a multibillion-dollar school construction program on Wednesday morning.

    House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and his likely successor, Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), will make the announcement with members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses and county officials at Forest Heights Elementary School in Prince George’s County.

    Last General Assembly session, Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. put forward several proposals to accelerate school construction in the state. The Build to Learn Act of 2019, which would have authorized the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $2.2 billion in bonds for school construction projects, passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 133-3. But the measure failed to move forward in the Senate, where lawmakers cited budget concerns in a year chock-full of them.

    Separately, lawmakers approved a pilot project last session that allowed Prince George’s County to establish a public-private partnership program to accelerate school construction there.

    The program, which is being implemented now, will allow the county to build five schools in the next three years. However, county leaders will seek additional state funding to build 18 schools over the next seven years. Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) will join legislative leaders for Wednesday’s announcement.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.