School Construction Funding at Center of Debate for Md. Lt. Gov. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

School Construction Funding at Center of Debate for Md. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Larry Hogan

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FRUITLAND, Md.- School construction funding is at the center of debate in the latest batch of attacks traded off between candidates in the Maryland Gubernatorial race. 

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown claims his opponent, Larry Hogan, will cut $450 million from a school construction program. It is a claim that Adam Dubitsky, a spokesperson for Hogan's campaign, said is not true.

Bennett Middle School's new facility has been under construction for more than one year in Fruitland. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) said projects like that one will be jeopardized if Hogan is elected as Maryland's next governor.

"Under Mr. Hogan's plan, there's a possibility that this school, Bennett Middle School, could also be in jeopardy," Brown said. He also went on to say Wicomico County has $110 million of identified needs, over the next three years, for school construction and renovation.

The discussion took place at a press conference in front of the school, located at 523 South Division Street, where Brown spoke against Hogan's "Savings Plan," a plan Dubitsky said does not exist. 

“Larry Hogan will not cut a dime from Maryland's school construction programs that have been so badly mismanaged by Martin O'Malley and Anthony Brown," Dubitsky said. 

One hour after the conference ended, Dubitsky told WBOC the multimillion dollar figure was a  typo in a 2013 audit report of the $450 million Board of Public Works Interagency - Committee on School Construction (IAC).  He said the entire budget of the program was written in a column for potential savings by mistake.

"While we inadvertently included the total program cost in a report on his administration's mismanagement, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown is trying to distract parents, teachers and the news media from the findings in that official audit which revealed that numerous public schools had unsanitary conditions, were failing maintenance inspections and dozens of other school inspections weren't reported in accordance with law,” according to Dubitsky.

When asked about the multimillion dollar figure, and whether the argument about it is "just politics," Brown said  a $450 million cut that Mr. Hogan is calling for in school construction would set us back, literally years. "

It is still unclear how much Hogan intends to save under school construction funding and how those savings would be done.Dubitsky was unable to provide a current estimation.

The third debate will air on WBOC today.

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