Delegation To Vote On Bill To Address Frederick County’s Need For Additional School Capacity

It would set up a work group to look for new sources of funding.

Delegate April Miller (Photo from Md. General Assembly website)

Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Legislative Delegation is expected to vote on Friday on a bill to set up a work group to consider ways to bring in additional revenue to pay for new schools, and to rehabilitate current classroom buildings.

Delegate April Miller is sponsoring the legislation.   She says Frederick County is the fastest growing county in Maryland, and it needs additional school capacity, especially high schools. “We’re going to need within the next ten and 12 years–if not, obviously sooner, as far as Brunswick and Middletown–Walkersville, and we have another high school that we need,,” says Miller. “Frederick  {High School} was $121-million, `$122-million. By now, they’re going to be way more than that. We need to figure how to build those.”

Miller says there probably won’t be any new funding coming from the state for schools. “The IAC is only going to go–the agency that oversees the school construction financing from the state and helps determine how much funding we get from the state level–they’re only going to be, I think, about $30-million over what they’ve already had from the previous year. So there’s not going to be a big increase in funding for our schools  across the state.”

The IAC is the Interagency Commission on School Construction.

So Frederick County needs to look for other sources of funding to build and renovate schools. “We need to start thinking in Frederick County how we’re going to address those needs because it’s not going to be the same way we’ve been doing it. We’ve got to have additional funding for it,” she says.

The work group is modeled on a similar one in Prince George’s County.

Miller says the panel’s membership will consist of two state delegates, two state senators, two county council members, two members of the Board of Education, and the County Executive, or someone she designates.

She  says there is an  ad hoc work group the County and Frederick County Public Schools have set up to address this issue.  . “So I kind of see that as the work group elevating the work that is being done in the county, and has to reach out to our public-private partnerships, how to come up with other ideas to get the schools funded,”: she says.

By Kevin McManus