Thursday, March 19, 2009


Congresswoman Edwards, Lt. Governor Brown Visit Seat Pleasant ES to Discuss
Support for Employees, and Children Challenged by Poverty and Special Needs

The Prince George’s County Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. applauded Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-4th) and Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor, Anthony G. Brown, today for their quick action to save jobs and continue driving academic reforms in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Congresswoman Edwards and Lt. Governor Brown visited with some of the beneficiaries of the federal stimulus funding this morning at Seat Pleasant Elementary School, where both read to students and discussed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“When school districts like ours were facing disastrous budget cuts that threatened to disrupt student learning, a lifeline was extended to our schools by President Barack Obama, Congresswoman Edwards, and our other federal and state partners,” said Board Chair Verjeana
M. Jacobs, Esq. “While these continue to be extraordinarily difficult financial times, the quick action of the O’Malley-Brown Administration and our state legislature has enabled us to use stimulus funding to reduce job losses and restore support for programs that help our most vulnerable children.”

Following Governor Martin O’Malley’s announcement on February 20 that federal stimulus funds for public education were coming to Maryland, the Prince George’s County Board of Education was able to make significant changes to its Fiscal Year 2010 Requested Operating Budget. Because of aid from President Obama's economic recovery and reinvestment plan, PGCPS employees were not furloughed and more than 300 jobs were restored, including 106 teaching positions. The Board of Education used stimulus funds to provide 21 new positions for special educators to help a growing number of students with autism in Prince George’s County public schools.

“In Prince George’s County public schools, student achievement has risen dramatically in every subgroup over the last two years. It is imperative that we keep effective teachers teaching and support even higher levels of student achievement,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. “With stimulus funding, budget cuts are not as severe and we are better able to sustain the phenomenal progress being made by our teachers and students.”

PGCPS anticipates more than $142 million in total state aid restored for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, including $82.8 million in non-restrictive funds allowing Governor O’Malley to fully fund the Geographic Cost of Education Index at $39 million for each fiscal year. Supplemental grant funding will be restored to $19 million each year, and the formula for non-public placements of students will be returned to an 80/20 ratio, meaning PGCPS will continue to fund only 20 percent of the overall costs for students requiring special accommodations outside of the PGCPS school district ($10.8 million each year).

Additionally, $60.4 million will be received as restricted funds for the next two fiscal years, when approximately $14 million will be used to support students with special needs. Additionally, $15 million will be used to support schools with large numbers of children who qualify for federal Title I support to help overcome the challenges of poverty, and PGCPS will receive $600,000 for Education Technology grants each year.

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