As school begins in Prince George’s Co., officials focus on building new schools

Monica Goldson
Prince George’s County Schools CEO Dr. Monica Goldson began the 2019-2020 school year, her first as permanent CEO, in the classroom where she used to teach. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

As students head back to class in Prince George’s County, the new Blueprint for Success Initiative is officially in place.

Dr. Monica Goldson, who is entering her first year as permanent CEO of the school system, is focusing on implementing programs such as universal pre-kindergarten in 17 schools and digital immersion programs under the initiative, but she said there’s also a focus on new construction.

The school district has partnered with the county government to begin securing money locally and has also begun exploring private-public partnerships to improve infrastructure. On average, schools in the district are 50 years old. With an $8 billion backlog in maintenance and a $2 billion plan for maintenance in some schools, Goldson said, the need for new construction is long overdue.

“We’ve been talking about it for a very long time, so the opportunity now to have that come to fruition is extremely important,” she said.

The partnership would allow for an outside company to build up to six new schools over three years, and would be in addition to construction that is already planned in the district.

Goldson said specific details about the new schools will be announced by the end of this month, and building would begin next year. The partnership would also mean construction would be completed, and students would be in the classrooms, before the district begins paying back the money, which would happen over a 30-year period.

Goldson said she’s confident the community will stand behind these efforts to bring new facilities to the district. “We’ll make sure it’s consistent with our focus, which is on student teaching and learning.”

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