Montgomery County recently launched a new website to generate support for its request for more funding from the state for school construction, the county's public information office reported on Friday.
The county has seen unprecedented enrollment growth in its public school system and recently joined with Prince George's County and Baltimore County in the push for more school construction funding from the state, the county reported.
Since 2000, the county's public school enrollment has increased by 14,599 students—more than in Anne Arundel, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties combined. "In the next six years, MCPS expects to enroll another 11,000 students," according to a county news release.
"Montgomery is the No. 1 education county in the state of Maryland and I want to keep it that way," County Executive Ike Leggett said.
"I will continue to advocate in Annapolis with other county executives and our state delegation for more school construction resources. We also need our school community, residents and businesses to make their voices heard at the state level," he added.
"Montgomery County is known nationally for our school system, which contributes directly to our ability to attract and retain an educated workforce, business and industry. To maintain the county’s role as a key economic engine of the state of Maryland, we must address the needs created by our double-digit school enrollment increases—the highest in the state," Leggett said.
Last year, Leggett, MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr, the county school board, county council members and state delegates announced a $600 to $700 million initiative to build additional classrooms, but that initiative depends on state funding, the county reported.
Last week, Leggett also committed a "record level of local funding for school construction"—$1.117 billion. Leggett's recommended Capital Improvements Program budget for fiscal years 2015 to 2020 includes the addition of 445 new classrooms to the county's public school system. Over Leggett’s eight years in office as the county executive, local funding for school construction has increased 36 percent, the county's public information office reported.