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Governor Hogan Announces Initiatives to Support Public Charter Schools

January 23rd, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of initiatives, including legislation and new funding, to support Maryland’s public charter schools. Governor Hogan made the announcement at College Park Academy in Riverdale, MD and was joined by University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh, Maryland State Senator Jim Rosapepe (D-21), Senior Advisor to the Governor Keiffer Mitchell, Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Harmony Academy Baltimore Executive Director Marsha Reeves, College Park Academy Principal Gordon Libby, College Park Academy student Darien Ghee, Sean Doordan of St. John Properties, as well as additional local leaders and community members. College Park Academy receives funding from both the City of College Park and the University of Maryland, College Park.

“Across the nation, public charter schools are leading the way on innovation, but sadly in Maryland, despite overwhelming public support, they are not being supported by our local school systems,” said Governor Hogan. “Our announcement today seeks to correct that problem by giving charters access to much needed facility funding to ensure that more children receive the opportunity to learn in modern facilities which fully meet the 21st century needs of Maryland students, teachers, and taxpayers."

Governor Hogan’s recently introduced Fiscal Year 2020 budget designates $2.6 million specifically for construction projects at public charter schools, as well as $1.2 million from the Healthy School Facility Fund, created by bipartisan legislation enacted last year, specifically to fix critical heating and air conditioning issues and other necessary maintenance improvements at public charter schools.

“We are appreciative that Governor Hogan chose College Park Academy to announce his support for facility funding for charter schools,” said Principal Libby. “College Park Academy is an example of a public-private partnership to reduce costs for funding facilities. His support helps further that cause.”

The governor also announced that he has introduced the Public Charter School Facility Fund Act of 2019, which will provide $1,600 in per-pupil funding for each public charter school student, to be distributed through the Maryland State Department of Education. Public charter schools in Maryland often face financial constraints that force them to divert resources intended for innovative programs and classroom activities to critical facility repairs. The governor’s legislation will ensure that funds intended to go to the classroom will truly be dedicated to learning.

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