Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Monday a plan to spend $336 million on school construction and facilities improvements in the coming budget year.
The governor made the announcement during Jan. 7 news conference at Overlea High School.
The proposal, which will be part of his Fiscal Year 2014 budget sent to state lawmakers later this month, will include $325 million for school construction and renovation, $25 million for air conditioning schools and $6.1 million for the aging schools program.
O'Malley said that the proposed budget was unusual because of the funds earmarked for air conditioning.
"This is the first time an allocation of state capital that large has been made for a specific purpose," he said.
The governor also highlighted the importance of efforts made by local elected officials to secure the air conditioning money.
"It's really because of your delegates, supported by County Executive Kamenetz that we're able to make this announcement," O'Malley said.
Overlea High School was the perfect place to make the announcement because of the school's age and the large number of unairconditioned schools in Baltimore County, said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Overlea High School was built in 1961 and lacks air conditioned classrooms.
"Overlea is an older school; 80 percent of schools in the county are more than 40 years old," Kamenetz said. He explained the school is representative of the "typical challenges" faced by county schools.
Of the state's 180 schools without air conditioning, about 65 are in Baltimore County, according to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
If adopted, O'Malley said that the proposed budget would support 8,199 jobs.
"That's moms and dads swinging hammers, installing air conditioning, and doing roofing," he said.
The Maryland General Assembly begins its 90-day session on Jan. 9.