Board tells delegation schools need funds

October 03, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - The Washington County Board of Education told the county's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday that money for new school construction, modernizing existing facilities and other repairs is needed.

The board discussed these items and other legislative priorities during a meeting with the delegation.

Receiving equitable funding and maintaining healthy school environments were among the board's other priorities. Having safe and secure schools also was a priority.

The delegation told the board that there will be less available state funding this year for Washington County Public Schools than in past years.

"I think that what we'll have to look at in the future is looking at our growth and our schools, and the money isn't there at the state, we're going to have to look at all of our options," Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said.


Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said school systems will need to be innovative and work with the private sector more.

Board Member Bernadette Wagner said that Washington County Public Schools has looked at all of the options available, including innovative funding for the planned Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

Shank said that money was taken away from rural communities, like Washington County, in favor of giving more funding to Montgomery County.

"It was a politically driven decision," he said. "It was designed to secure votes out of Montgomery County."

In the board's list of legislative priorities, it specifies that the formula for equitable funding among the school systems should not be politically driven, but rationally developed.

Del. LeRoy Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, also discussed a possible change to the way vacant seats on the board are filled. He said there is a possibility that the decision could be made locally instead of being approved by the governor.

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