School construction to increase on Montgomery capital budget?

Charles EadieAccording to an article, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Legget, is trying to get a boost in state funding to aid school construction and repair. The budget is over a six-year time period and will raise local funding for school construction from $987 million to $1.1 billion – a 13 percent increase. The increased budget from Legget came about because of Montgomery’s overcrowding of schools. Currently, Montgomery’s public school system houses 151,000 students. Since 2007, enrollment has increased by 14,000.

According to Legget, the 13% budget increase “gives us an opportunity, at least from a local standpoint, to address the challenges.”

Legget is trying to receive a third term this year. His top political and policy priority is construction funding packages, with school construction obviously included. One of his opponents in the upcoming election is Doug Duncan, who has also made school construction funding a major priority of his campaign.

As a benchmark, Legget is looking at what was done last year by lawmakers in Baltimore. “It called for the state, city and school system to each pledge $20 million a year over 30 years to support $1 billion in bonds. The plan is expected to finance 15 new schools and tje renovation of 35 others over the next 10 years.”

Hopefully Legget and Montgomery find out a solution soon. It would be a shame to see the increase number of students impact the school system. Kids are the future of the United States and they should be considered a high priority. Legget obviously understands this, but will others? It’ll be interesting to where this heads in the near future.