GENERAL ASSEMBLY

21ST CENTURY SCHOOL FACILITIES COMMISSION

Martin G. Knott, Jr., Chair (chosen by Senate President & House Speaker)

Staff: Kate E. Henry; Rachel H. Hise.

c/o Department of Legislative Services
Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 946-5510, (301) 970-5510

The 21st Century School Facilities Commission was convened by the Senate President and House Speaker in April 2016.

Existing educational specifications for school construction projects will be reviewed by the Commission, which also will evaluate whether those specifications apply to the needs of 21st century schools. Further, the Commission will review the findings of the 2004 Task Force to Study Public School Facilities, and how those findings have been implemented. Construction industry best practices will be identified, and their applicability to public school and charter school construction will be determined by the Commission. For jurisdictions with growing enrollment, the Commission will formulate long-term plans, as well as maintenance plans for jurisdictions with flat or declining enrollment.

For construction and continuing maintence, innovative financing mechanisms, such as public-private partnerships and other alternatives to traditional financing through general obligation debt, will be considered. In addition, the Commission is to look for efficiencies and cost-saving in construction and maintenance. Finally, the Commission will evaluate the relationship between State agencies and local governments on school construction projects, as well as the role of State agencies and the statutory structure of the Interagency Committee on School Construction.

In its report submitted to the General Assembly in December 2016, the Commission identified issues it planned to examine in 2017.

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