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County Executive Asks State's Board of Public Works to Increase School Funding

Publish Date: 02/05/2014

County Executive Makes Plea for Money for Severna Park

 

Annapolis, MD (February 5, 2014) - Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman today joined interim school Superintendent Mamie Perkins in testifying before the Maryland Board of Public Works to ask the three-member board to increase funding for school construction projects in Anne Arundel County.

 

The County Executive also made a special plea for funding for Severna Park High School, in particular, which was omitted from the Governor's proposed fiscal year budget for 2015. The governor's budget included a little more than $19 million for 13 county schools, much less than the $56.4 million requested.

 

"Funding for Severna Park High School is long overdue," said County Executive Neuman. "The community has patiently waited their turn for money for construction and just as their hopes were built, they were quickly dashed. I want the members of the Board of Public Works to know that Anne Arundel County has another advocate teaming up with our schools."

 

In January, County Executive Neuman made school construction her centerpiece request before the Anne Arundel County delegation. She contends that Anne Arundel County has not received the same consideration as neighboring wealthy counties.

 

The County Executive has said Anne Arundel County receives less state paid for school construction, on a per pupil basis, than Howard County or Baltimore City, despite having the third highest growth in student enrollment over the past five years. That trend in student enrollment growth is expected to continue through 2022. Anne Arundel County has funded more than 77% of school construction costs over the past 10 years, and, in fact, 64% of the county's current capital budget is dedicated to schools.

 

During that January 17 meeting, County Executive also asked for additional funding for transportation and a police training academy.

 

Transportation. State funding for local transportation needs has been reduced by 95% since 2007. Anne Arundel County's share of Highway User Revenues decreased from $32 million in FY 2007 to approximately $3 million annually. The gas tax increases that were passed by the General Assembly in 2013 excluded local governments from sharing in the new revenues which will double over the next six years.  County Executive Neuman is supporting efforts to begin restoring Highway User Revenues to help pay for our local roads.

 

Police Training Academy. The Police Training Academy in Davidsonville has not received any significant renovations since 1976.  Its condition can only be described as "deplorable," said County Executive Neuman. The County Executive has committed to putting $600,000 in planning money in the County's FY 2015 Capital Budget and is requesting that the state begin discussions on State participation in the $7 million cost of construction.


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