(9/2014) I have heard it said once that the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Allow me the opportunity to look into some of these windows and show you what I have done to improve the quality of education in Frederick County.
As a county commissioner, I along with fellow commissioners Kirby Delauter and Blaine Young have been diligent in meeting our educational needs. We have been as aggressive as any prior board in advancing school projects in the Capital Improvements Program (CIP). It has been a priority in making sure our school facility needs are met.
We have been active in funding systemic costs for our schools (maintenance of our aging buildings, repairing roofs, boilers, windows), and improving technology programs all while staying within our financial and budgetary means. I am proud to be a part of the Young Board which has funded Wi-Fi in all schools. Installation of this initiative has been completed.
We have more than doubled our funding for systemics, increased technology funding to aid our students in preparing for a better and more advanced future, and moved up funding for school projects. We have moved up in funding the new elementary school in Urbana, a new addition to Urbana Middle School and Frederick High School.
Additionally, our current system-wide capacity (school seats) is now below 90 percent. While we have more than doubled the systemics funding to care for our aging schools, our six year CIP also accommodates for all anticipated new student growth in Frederick County while ensuring that we will still not exceed our 90 percent system-wide capacity.
We have also created an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) School Mitigation Fee Ordinance to raise money for school construction and to give developers/builders an option to pay more for schools and create jobs.
According to the County’s "Impacts on Growth Task Force Report" from January 2014, the APFO Schools Mitigation Contributions updated through December 31, 2013, reflects the actual contribution number is $2,013,398. The total estimated contribution, from projects that have been APFO tested remains at $52,425,168, and the estimated contributions from projects that are pending
(i.e. projects that have been submitted but not APFO tested) remain at $16,912,860.
I have also lead several drug awareness programs with and in our schools and have aided in the distribution of drug drop boxes to get unused prescription medications out of our homes and away from our children.
With all the rhetoric out there, I wanted to make sure you understand that we are doing everything we can to strike a fair balance in providing necessary funding and improvements to keep our schools as the best they can be in Maryland while still looking out for the tax payers. If you honor me by electing me to the county council, I will continue that focus.
To learn more about Billy Shreve visit www.believeinshreve.com