WASHINGTON — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing what he says is the biggest increase in school construction in Maryland history.
With Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks at his side and unionized construction workers in the audience, the governor unveiled his proposal in a visit to Highland Park Elementary School in Landover.
“I happen to believe, very strongly, that every single child in our state deserves access to a world class education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in,” Hogan said.
“We want to make sure that schools have heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer; that they fully meet the 21st century needs of Maryland students, teachers and taxpayers.”
The governor plans to ask the General Assembly to add $1.9 billion in new school construction spending to the already budgeted $1.6 billion over the next five years.
Voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum last month requiring all tax revenue from the state’s six casinos go to education. Hogan’s proposal directs the $1.9 billion specifically to school buildings, which would include repairs and new construction.
The newly-elected county executive says the governor’s plan would provide all that Prince George’s County needs for school building projects in the 2020 fiscal year.
“This is critical funding for us in the neighborhood of $74 million. We are appreciative of that funding and looking forward to addressing the backlog of projects in Prince George’s County,” said Alsobrooks.
Hogan estimates that the additional money would fulfill more than 90 percent of the repair and construction requests from school systems from 2020 to 2024.
Hogan estimates the projects will create 27,000 jobs.