PTA On School Construction Bill: ‘It’s Not Over Until It’s Over’
Despite recent discussion that Montgomery County may not get the school construction funding they’re hoping for this session, a group of County parents, advocates and political leaders will be traveling to Annapolis on March 6 to show legislators they’re not standing down when it comes to fighting for a solution to what they say is severe overcrowding in County schools.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” said MCCPTA President Janette Gilman. “It’s still on, and it’s growing,” she said of the trip planned for Thursday evening.
County Executive Ike Leggett, Council President Craig Rice, MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr, and Board of Education President Phil Kauffman as well as parents and students from Montgomery County Public Schools will be taking the trip to Annapolis.
Gilman said more than 300 people have registered online and they expect more to show up.
“I am optimistic that we will get the school funding program we are seeking, but the question is just when,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 20). “The problem is the budget squeeze in the current session, which is making the politics fluid and unpredictable,” he said.
Members of the Montgomery County Delegation have been strong supporters of the funding, agreeing with the MCCPTA that there is in fact a need for renovations and more space in County public schools.
But some agree that this may be a long journey.
“With a new administration coming in next year, now is a particularly good time to make the case that we need greater investments to build more public schools,” said Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Dist. 14). “Big initiatives, such as this, take time in Annapolis and despite our patience, we remained fully committed to this issue,” she said.
Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) said she’s not giving up on the hopes for the school construction bill being passed this year.
“It is premature to predict the outcome of the bill–and no one should be giving up on such an urgent need for both the county and the state,” said Del. Mizeur. “The county’s enrollment is one of the fastest growing in the country and is already facing overcrowding. We must find a way to provide Montgomery County the school construction funding that we so desperately need,” she said.
Find the complete bus schedule and more information on the trip here.