Delivers $2.167 million check to Oxon Hill Elementary School for school conversion project
OXON HILL, Md. (February 17, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown visited Oxon Hill Elementary School earlier today to announce a record $1.2 billion four-year investment in school construction. Brown also presented Principal Cynthia Best-Goring with a ceremonial check for $2.167 million, representing the State contribution to an ongoing classroom conversion project at the school. While at Oxon Hill Elementary, Brown was joined by Prince George’s County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite and had the opportunity to talk with a class of students.
“We have the nation’s best public schools because of the choices we have made. We have protected our record investments in public education, even during difficult economic times; and we have kept our promise to build state-of-the-art classrooms for our children every year, not every four years,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “We will survive this recession and come out of it stronger and more quickly than other states because of our investments in tomorrow’s leaders, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to meet many of those leaders today at Oxon Hill Elementary School.”
Earlier this year, Education Week ranked Maryland public schools the best in the nation for the second consecutive year and last week, the College Board announced that Maryland again led the nation in Advanced Placement performance. To protect this progress, the O’Malley-Brown administration has led the effort to preserve record levels of funding for public education even during difficult economic times. Since taking office, Governor Martin O’Malley has increased operating funding for public education by more than $1.2 billion, a 27 percent increase. In addition, the O’Malley-Brown administration has invested over $1.2 billion in school construction, including more than $140 million in Prince George’s County. The O’Malley-Brown statewide commitment to school construction is $430 million more than the previous administration invested during prosperous times. Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown have invested over $50 million additional in Prince George’s County than the previous administration.
Oxon Hill Elementary School, a K-6 public school with an enrollment of 435 students, has reported significant gains in test scores in recent years. In 2004, only 34 percent of third graders and 40 percent of fourth graders scored “proficient” on the Maryland School Assessment math tests. Last year, 70 percent of third graders and 80 percent of fourth graders scored at least that high. Similar trends were reported on the reading assessments. In 2004, only 36 percent of third graders, 50 percent of fourth graders and 36 percent of fifth graders scored proficient or higher. Last year, 78 percent of third graders, 69 percent of fourth graders and 55 percent of fifth graders scored at least that high.
“Strong school construction funding is critical to Maryland’s educational excellence program,” said State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick. “Oxon Hill Elementary School has made important progress over the past seven years, and deserves the support of state and local officials as it continues to work toward its goal of having all students achieve at the highest levels.”
Test scores are rising at schools across Prince George’s County. The percentage of fifth and eighth grade students who performed at a proficient or higher level in math increased by more than nine percentage points between 2006 and 2009 and more than 17 percentage points in reading.
“We are excited about the work we do at Oxon Hill Elementary School and are looking forward to the use of these funds for converting the 22,000 square feet of open space into conventional classrooms. Having private classrooms will help to ensure our students continue their top-level performance,” said Oxon Hill Elementary School Principal Cynthia Best-Goring.
The State of Maryland is invested $2.167 during FY10 for a 22,724 square foot conversion of open space classrooms into five conventional classrooms. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $4 million.