Redistricting is not a prerequisite for state funding for new school construction

From numerous previous conversations, I was told that the Maryland State will not grant funding to HCPSS for new school construction until HCPSS school redistricting is done. Today I know from two sources that this information is not correct.

So we need push both HCPSS and the county government to work together, decide a location, secure the funding, and begin to construct new schools asap. It takes several years for the whole process and we cannot wait any time longer.

Source 1: from HCPSS

From office Planning’s Renee Kamen: having open capacity in other parts of county does not preclude us from qualifying for state funding for a new high school.

Source 2: from Howard County PTAC.

State Funding and Utilization

State Funding and Utilization

The Interagency Committee on School Construction is the agency that local school systems appeal to for state funding. The IAC recommendations are then presented to the Board of Public Works for approval. I spoke with the Executive Director of the Public School Construction program, Robert Gorrell and asked whether having available capacity at other schools precludes the school system from receiving state funding (do we have to wait for redistricting before we can start the process for a new high school?). Mr Gorrell was extremely helpful. Though it is extremely important, having underutilized schools is just one of many factors taken into account; the levels at which schools are overcrowded is also considered.

The IAC Procedures Manual states that enrollment projections of the subject and adjacent schools must show that the school will be at least 50 percent occupied at the completion of the project and fully utilized within seven years of the date of project submission (Ducketts Lane was at capacity when it opened..)

The manual also states that the majority of the enrollment for a proposed new school should be in the attendance area at the time of proposal. Click on link for entire online procedure manual or see below for the relevant passages. -Vicky Cutroneo PTACHC President http://www.pscp.state.md.us/APG/FIN%20Original%20APG%20Revised%206-6-17.pdf 1.

The majority of the enrollment for a proposed new school should be in the attendance area at the time of proposal. Nearby schools of the same type or grade structure as the proposed new school (elementary, middle, high) should be projected to be fully utilized or overcrowded within seven (7) years of the September 30 prior to the date of submission of the CIP request, and the proposed facility should be projected to be at least 50% utilized at the time of opening.

EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF PROJECT REQUESTS A. General Projects will generally be evaluated on the basis of past and projected enrollments, not only at the school in question, but at adjacent or nearby schools, and on consistency with the EFMP. Projects for additional capacity may not be recommended for planning approval or funding where adequate capacity is available at adjacent schools. See Section 102.4.B.2. and 102.4.B.4.b. In most cases, enrollment projections of the subject and adjacent schools must show that the school will be at least 50% occupied at the completion of the project and will be fully utilized within seven years of the date of project submission. School facility planners are encouraged to work with planning and zoning officials to develop and use school land banking procedures so that an inventory of future prospective school sites are maintained in each jurisdiction is areas targeted for growth. It is important that future school sites are situated within neighborhood and that the sites be educationally suitable. Emphasis should be given to acquisition of future school sites associated with major subdivision approvals and municipal annexations. Consideration should also be given to school sites in existing communities where appropriate, such as in areas targeted for redevelopment.

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