Bigger outlay for school projects asked


ANNAPOLIS -- Gov. William Donald Schaefer submitted yesterday a supplemental capital budget that transfers $7 million out of other projects in order to boost school construction and renovation projects next year.

The money would raise to $64.7 million the amount the state is paying for schools next year.

"The importance of adequate school facilities, and the urgency of some projects, make it essential that more dollars go into next year's construction program," Governor Schaefer said in a written statement.

Last week, the state Board of Public Works approved nearly $46 million in school projects and agreed to consider spreading $12 million among $45 million in additional projects proposed in Baltimore and 11 counties.

The $7 million additional money for school projects will mean three other projects will not be funded next year. They are a $2.5 proposal to expand the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, a $2.1 million purchase of the Western District Health Center in Baltimore and $1.5 million for the new animal science building at University of Maryland-College Park.

Much to the consternation of local school officials, the Schaefer administration had initially proposed spending only $53 million next year for schools when the capital budget was unveiled last month. That would have been a substantial decrease from the $60 million the governor has spent in previous years.

Paul C. Schurick, the governor's spokesman, said Mr. Schaefer was convinced that "the only appeals made to the board last week were for urgent, legitimate needs."

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