Nearly $500 Million in State Funding Available for School Construction for FY20
While the Build to Learn Act of 2019 did not pass, school construction was funded at $500 million, $62.5 million more than in the Governor’s proposed budget. The Capital Improvement Program (CIP), the largest of the seven state programs for school construction from which all districts benefit, was funded at $252 million for FY20. The legislature set aside an additional $127 million for the CIP, but Governor Hogan must take action to release the funds. The legislature approved $68 million for counties experiencing significant enrollment growth and approximately $20 million for aging school buildings and school safety projects. Passed in 2018, the Healthy Schools Fund, which targets schools with urgent needs related to heating, cooling, and mold and lead remediation, was funded at the required $30 million for its first year.
Capital Improvement Program (CIP) — $251.8 million
This is the state’s largest school construction program and the total amount approved is approximately $30 million less than what was initially proposed. Funding will be distributed to Maryland school districts by the state’s Interagency Commission on School Construction.
Additional CIP Funding — $127 million
The legislature included an additional $127 million in the operating budget for school construction projects. However, release of these funds by budget amendment are at the discretion of the Governor.
Aging Schools Program — $6.1 million
The legislature approved $6.1 million, consistent with what is called for by law. Funding is prioritized for districts with the oldest school buildings.
Nonpublic Aging Schools Program — $4 million
The legislature increased funding for private and parochial school buildings from $3.5 million to $4 million. The ACLU opposes this program due to the enormous funding needs for public school buildings and the fact that private and religious schools can and have discriminated against certain populations.
Enrollment Growth & Relocatable Classrooms Program — $68.2 million
The legislative moved approximately $30 million from the CIP to this program, which provides additional funding for school districts that are experiencing large increases in enrollment or have a large number of relocatable classrooms.