Brown proposes spending boost for schools

  • Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown
Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore…)
December 13, 2013|Erin Cox | The Baltimore Sun

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on Friday released his plan to spend dramatically more on building schools and vocational programs that help high school students go directly into the workforce.

Brown, a Democrat running for governor, unveiled several proposals about making Maryland students "ready to work" that together would cost $185 million over the next four years if he were elected.

To pay for it, Brown suggests dedicating about $80 million a year from the corporate income tax and saving as much as $100 million by making the state's spending more efficient.

Some lawmakers, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and other powerful voices in Annapolis, have promoted reducing in the state's corporate income tax rate when the General Assembly convenes next month.

The lieutenant governor suggested private companies could help pay $20 million a year for new schools. And he proposed that the state help counties borrow cash to build schools in a model similar to the $1.1 billion project to rehabilitate schools in Baltimore.

Brown also proposed a $3,000 tax credit to encourage local businesses to give internships to teenagers seeking real-world experience.

His 13-page plan released by his campaign calls for increasing annual school construction funding from $340 million to a half-billion dollars by 2019. It would also spend $100 million over four years to build vocational centers to help students learn trade skills before they graduate from high school.

Brown said in a statement that vocational training was "becoming an increasingly critical part of Maryland's path towards a promising future."

The lieutenant governor's plan comes a day after his chief political rival, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, released a web video calling for more apprenticeships for students at least 16-years-old. Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur is also in the Democratic primary race scheduled for June 24.

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