Increased School Spending Proposed to Ease Overcrowding in Classrooms

School construction is needed to ease crowded classrooms throughout Montgomery County, officials said.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is proposing a double-digit increase in school spending. File | Patch
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is proposing a double-digit increase in school spending. File | Patch

Local spending to ease overcrowding in Montgomery County schools would increase by 13 percent under a capital budget proposed Wednesday by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.

Leggett’s six-year budget would increase county spending from $987 million to $1.1 billion, reports the Washington Post.

Earlier this week, Patch reported the top school officials and executives of the state’s three largest counties called on the Maryland General Assembly to increase money for school construction in those jurisdictions. 

A statement from Baltimore, Prince George’s and Montgomery county school executives and board presidents argued current funding for school construction does not support "21st Century education." Leggett announced in October that he wants $20 million from the state to help Montgomery County leverage $40 million in investments to reduce overcrowding in schools.

The capital budget Leggett drafted includes $230.7 million in new state revenue, along with $240 million through the traditional state formula, over the next six years. Combined with local revenue, Leggett said, the county would be able to fully fund the school system’s $1.7 billion construction budget request.

This school year, enrollment in Montgomery schools increased by 2,510 students; the system uses temporary classrooms in more than 450 trailers to handle the overflow. If approved, the increased school funding would pay for additions to 18 elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools, the Post said.

You can find the county's full proposed budget online.

>> Read the Post's full report on funding for Montgomery County schools here.>>


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