By Governor Martin O'Malley (D)
Over the past few weeks, Maryland schools have been welcoming back students from their summer break. Today, we are launching the Steady Progress for Maryland's Schools tour that will take us to public schools throughout our State, where I'll meet with students, faculty, and administrators to discuss the benefits and opportunities created by State investments in education over these past eighteen months.
As teachers, principals and administrators throughout our State return to the important work of educating Maryland's next generation, they do so this year with unprecedented levels of investment and a renewed commitment to the education and development of our future workforce in Maryland.
Despite difficult economic times, working together we've been able to close an inherited $1.7 billion structural deficit, while continuing to protect our priorities. Of these priorities, none is more important than building a better future for our children.
To ensure that every Maryland child receives a world class education, we've made an historic $5.3 billion investment in our public schools, and froze state college tuition for a third consecutive year so that higher education is accessible to more Maryland families. And to ensure that our students are not housed in temporary trailers or crumbling classrooms, we've invested an unprecedented $733 million for school construction, more than three times that of a comparable period four years ago.
Maryland is home to the nation's third best public school system according to Education Week. But that distinction alone does not guarantee us anything. Investing in the infrastructure of our schools, direct aid to classrooms throughout Maryland, and the strength of our higher education institutions is an investment in the future of our State.
Our shared priorities, that Lt. Governor Brown and I have committed to defend, represent more to us than words on a page. They symbolize a promise to the next generation of Marylanders, and an understanding that together we can make a better future for our State, and that each of us must try.