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Md. House Member: Message Received on Pri. Geo. HQ

Rosalind Helderman

Del. Tawanna P. Gaines (D-Prince George's), named this morning to the conference committee charged with working out differences between the House and Senate budgets, said she thinks it's highly likely the conference will drop a senate proposal to make $36 million in Prince George's school funds contingent on the school system dropping its new headquarters.

Gaines said she and others will need to read the amendment and have further conversations before any decisions are made. But she said she thought the Senate was likely trying to make a point that the new offices are a waste of money amid an economic recession. With the message sent, she said the item may not survive to become part of the compromise budget adopted by the full general Assembly.

"We're usually not punitive--this was to get the school system's attention," she said.

The school system has already signed a contract to lease the Washington Plaza complex. She said if it would cost school officials more to break their contract than to stick with it, the state would likely not reduce school funding if they moved ahead.

But, she said, senators were sending a message she believes is important: "You can't ask for money...and then turn around and buy what some would consider to be a luxury."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 3, 2009; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman  
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"You can't ask for money...and then turn around and buy what some would consider to be a luxury."

Yes, some would call ti a luxury. I call it a necessary step, one of many underway, to improve this school district. Ever been to current HQ, Sasscer Building? It's a dump with many obstacles to productivity and efficiency. We've gotten over the shortage of school buildings, and standards are rising. Administration is part of the system and deserves its turn.
Charles Reilly

Posted by: Towards_Light | April 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Go to Henry Ferguson, Morningside or any of 50 schools that are in worse condition and tell us which is more necessary - HQ or habitable schools for children? Ron Watson and Verjeanna J should be ashamed.

Posted by: erimaren | April 3, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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