House approves major funding plan for schools

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -  

The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a major funding plan to build new schools in Baltimore and renovate others.
 
The House voted 107-30 on Friday for a measure that would allow the city to issue about $1 billion in bonds to build as many as 15 new schools and renovate up to 40.
 
The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 
In response to this measure, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, "Today we are one step closer to beginning the implementation of a 10-year plan to modernize public school facilities for Baltimore City school students.  Families have a fundamental right to access a good education in quality school buildings. Providing more opportunities for families to send their children to good public schools will help get Baltimore growing again."  
 
The bonds would be made possible by funding from the state, the city and the city school system. They would contribute $20 million a year each for 30 years.
 
State money would come from the lottery beginning in fiscal year 2015. The city money would come from a bottle tax and gambling revenue, as well as retiree health savings.
 
The Maryland Stadium Authority would oversee the financing.
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