At its meeting on December 15, the Working group on the evaluation and financing of school equipment decided on a final set of recommendations for the General Assembly to consider.
The Working Group met for the last time today, during which it took important decisions on the calculations of the State’s share in the financing of school construction projects and on the evaluations of equipment. school. Today’s meeting followed a December 1 meeting when the group began making recommendations for presentation to the General Assembly for the next legislative session.
The task force was established by law in 2021. It has been tasked with assessing several aspects of school construction projects and the condition of facilities by the end of this year.
State share in the financing of school construction projects
The task force was tasked with deciding how the Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) should determine the maximum amount of state funding for school construction projects. These calculations are a combination of projected school enrollments and gross area baselines – the square footage needed to perform school functions, per student.
Among the decisions taken on State funding:
- Address concerns about projected enrollments:
- Request the IAC to establish guidelines for setting a floor on the amount of excess space available in a school facility before it is factored into the expected number of enrollments for that school; and
- Request the IAC to establish an appeal process on projected enrollment for full review by the IAC (currently schools can appeal IAC decisions on construction projects, but not projections of registrations which determine the share of State funding).
- Require the IAC to study the determinants of gross area baselines for school construction projects eligible for state funding in accordance with the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, including, but not limited to :
- English language learners;
- Community schools / schools eligible for Concentration of Poverty grants;
- Collaborative planning spaces for teachers (taking into account that there will be more teachers in schools as additional collaborative time during the school day is gradually put in place);
- Distribute the space for more individual and small group instruction; and
- Professional and technical education course (CTE).
- Create a state-funded incentive to add 5% of state funding per ‘green’ project a school is subject to, which would make the school a net zero carbon facility.
Sschool facility assessments
The task force was tasked with determining the key drivers of IAC’s condition assessment programs and school facility assessments, including the type of qualitative and quantitative data that should be captured by the facility assessments.
Among the new recommendations adopted by the working groups:
- The Priority Fund will begin in FY27, funded at $ 80 million per year. a. The Healthy Schools Fund will be extended until the 26th of the fiscal year.
- The IAC is not permitted to use the assessment data to determine funding decisions until the IAC has created an integrated data system for the assessment data, including preventive maintenance schedules. , where full details are available through local education agencies.
- The IAC may use the evaluation data to provide context in IAC programs, but not to determine funding decisions within programs, until May 1, 2026.
- Various guidelines regarding IAC transparency and accountability.
In addition, the task force recommended the creation of a new legislative task force in July 2024 to determine the Maryland Condition Index (MDCI) categories and weights to be used for the Priority Fund in fiscal year 27.
These final recommendations will be translated into legislation and presented to the General Assembly for consideration in 2022.
The video of the December 15 meeting is available on the General Assembly’s YouTube channel.
The meeting agenda and documents are available online.
Read before Conduit Street Blog working group coverage: