State proposes additional $10 million for Balto. Co. school repairs, projects

January 21, 1998|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Additional education aid proposed by Gov. Parris N. Glendening this month would give Baltimore County about $10 million to fix aging buildings, help schools in low-income areas and support a program aimed at supporting new teachers.

The aid package has quickly earned the support of Baltimore County educators and politicians. This morning, County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger and schools Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione are scheduled to testify in support of the proposal at a hearing in Annapolis before the House Ways and Means Committee.

"The governor has been responsive to the needs of our children, the most important clients of local government," Ruppersberger said in a statement announcing the amount expected for Baltimore County. "The new aid package will help students who lack the resources to compete effectively.

"Aging schools in established neighborhoods will get the attention they deserve. Accountability measures will ensure education dollars get to the classroom," Ruppersberger said.

The extra $10 million for Baltimore County is part of a $61.5 million state package proposed last week by Glendening.

The package is slightly more than the $53 million initially proposed by a task force set up last year to study education funding. The money is expected to come from Maryland's $260 million budget surplus.

Half of the $10 million in additional aid for Baltimore County would be set aside for the school district's mentoring program, which puts experienced teachers as mentors in schools with large numbers of new teachers.

The program -- which is serving as a model for the state -- has put mentors in 50 Baltimore County schools this year.

"They have no administrative responsibilities, and their mission is to work with young teachers," said schools spokesman Donald I. Mohler.

Under the proposal, Baltimore County schools also would receive $1.2 million to support programs for children with limited English proficiency, $376,000 to improve school libraries and $163,000 for prekindergarten programs, according to George P. Poff Jr., assistant to the superintendent in charge of governmental relations and law.

The county would receive an extra $8,000 for each of the 73 schools in which more than a quarter of children come from low-income families -- a total of $584,000, Poff said.

Pub Date: 1/21/98

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