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The Baltimore County Board of Education began the fiscal year 2021 state capital budget process at its Aug. 6 meeting with a brief presentation by school system staff.

Staff members introduced the state capital budget request, which comes in at almost $216 million ($700,000 of which has already been approved). It is “nearly identical” to the already-approved FY 2020 capital budget request, system staff said.

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The new state capital budget request prioritizes replacement buildings for Berkshire Elementary School and Colgate Elementary, both in Dundalk, and Chadwick Elementary in Woodlawn as its top three priorities.

Included in the budget request are replacement buildings for Towson, Lansdowne and Dulaney high schools. The budget notes that the order in which the three schools are listed “does not reflect the order of priority assigned to each of these projects by the Board,” but rather the order in which the projects were approved by the board to be added to the request.

Funds for designing those three high schools have been authorized by Baltimore County, and the design process for a new Lansdowne High School is underway.

Gone from the budget request are completed projects: new buildings for Honeygo Elementary and Dundalk Elementary, as well as renovations at Patapsco High and Woodlawn High, according to system staff.

Superintendent Darryl L. Williams said he and system staff would work to answer questions about the budget request that are submitted in writing by members of the school board prior to a work session scheduled for Aug. 20.

Board chairwoman Kathleen Causey invited individuals watching the board meeting and other stakeholders to email questions they might have to boe@bcps.org. She said the board would compile the questions and send them to school system staff.

The board is scheduled to vote on the budget request Sept. 10. After a vote, a final letter of approval from the state is anticipated in June 2020.

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