Legislature Mandates Study of Innovative School Construction Proposal: Advocates Say Sense of Urgency Needed to Move Plan Forward

Friday, March 30, 2012

ANNAPOLIS - Members of the House appropriations Committee  today  approved budget language already passed by the Senate, directing the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC) to study the implications of providing Baltimore City with an annual block grant for school construction.   This action comes in response to  the outpouring of support from the Baltimore community to pass landmark legislation that would lay the foundation for a mass-scale school construction and renovation program.  House Bill 304 / Senate Bill 533 called for $32 million a year (less than the  average annual state capital allocation to City Schools) to be given to the school system in the form of a block grant, rather than on a project-by-project basis.  A block grant would allow the school system to leverage an estimated $480 million upfront to rebuild and renovate crumbling buildings, to be paid back in installments over 25 to 30 years.