The State Must Help Solve School Overcrowding in Montgomery County
By Patricia O’Neill
President, Board of Education
One of the things I hear most frequently from parents is that our schools are bursting at the seams. They can’t understand why our schools are so crowded when it seems like we are working as fast as we can to build new classrooms. The reality is that we are adding enough kids to fill a new high school every year and we just can’t build fast enough. Many schools are operating beyond the capacity they were designed to serve.
Our county taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to try to take care of the needs of our children and it is an investment for which we are all grateful. Unfortunately, it just isn’t enough. Now we need an additional investment from the state so that the county can issue more school construction bonds. We must take our case to Annapolis. We must convince Governor-elect Larry Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch to make the same investment they made in Baltimore City schools—namely use state money to help the local government pay for bonds.
Our Montgomery County delegation in Annapolis has been supportive of our efforts as well and we will need them to once again lead the charge this spring if we are to be successful. I encourage our parents to share their perspective with our elected leaders—thank them for their past support and ask them to keep working to ensure that we have the state funding we need to solve this overcrowding problem. We must ensure that we have the support of every delegate and senator in Montgomery County. We are ready to build if the state will invest in our plan. Our children can’t wait any longer.
Please take a few moments to learn about this issue by reading the attached document—“Build Schools Now”—which is a quick summary of the issue and what we are asking from the state.