Local Officials Plan Strategy for Middle School Funding

A meeting to secure the funding of a new middle school was held Tuesday. -Photo courtesy David Marks-

Parents of Perry Hall Middle School have complained about the overcrowding of their middle school and were excited when Baltimore County announced plans to build a new middle school in Nottingham Park on King Avenue and to expand Pine Grove Middle School in Carney.

Those plans got delayed when Baltimore County announced a budget shortfall. There was a bill introduced in the General Assembly that would have given Baltimore County an additional $400 million in school construction but that bill never received a vote in the Maryland Senate.

Councilman David Marks and Baltimore County Board of Education Member Julie Henn held a town hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss the next steps in securing the funding for the new northeast area middle school.

They were joined by Delegates Joe Boteler, Harry Bhandari, and Kathy Szeliga. Marks was impressed with the dozens of residents that came out on a hot and stormy night.

“Despite anger at the delays to the proposed Nottingham Middle School – frustration that I share as a parent – people are engaged and ready to work,” Marks said.

Henn advised Perry Hall residents to attend BCPS school board meetings and to email school board members so they can prioritize the building of the new northeast middle school.

“The Board will receive the Superintendent’s proposed FY2021 State Capital Request in August. The Northeast Area Middle School must remain high on the Board’s list of priorities,” Henn said. “Show up! Be heard! Follow this page for updates and join our email list for more opportunities to help us advocate for our new northeast middle school. “

Marks added that this year’s school construction bill will be submitted early and should be SB 1. Szeliga said that the bill should receive an early bill hearing around mid to late January and advised parents to go down to Annapolis to testify on the bill.

After the new middle school is built, Henn explained that it will remove 300 students away from Perry Hall Middle. One parent said that is minimal and would still like to see a boundary study conducted and feels it is the only way to alleviate overcrowding.

Marks said some of the problems of today are from the past decisions to expand Perry Hall middle and high schools instead of rezoning but said the community needs to focus on the future.

“We came up with a plan to testify throughout the budget process. The handout is (below). Email me at dmarks@baltimorecountymd.gov to be added to the distribution list.

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