Friday, July 3, 2020
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Casino revenue might benefit vocational programs

The Prince George’s County Council approved a resolution yesterday to divert revenue from the MGM National Harbor casino, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of this year, to the vocational programs at Crossland High School instead of spreading out the money over nine schools for construction projects, the Washington Post reports.

MGM National Harbor casino

County Executive Rushern L Baker III submitted a $4.5-million spending plan. By law, half of the money has to be spent on education, and his original proposal would have distributed the $2.2 million over nine schools to pay for structural repairs and other mechanical projects.

Council member Obie Patterson wasn’t happy about that, saying those types of projects “should be funded through the regular school budget,” not through these so-called “local-impact” dollars arising from the casino, which represent “new monies that should go to creative projects and innovative ideas and those things we haven’t been able to do before.”

Programs at Crossland that will receive the money, if the resolution is signed, include the career academies, which offer an alternative path for the district’s students who decide not to go to college. Students learn automotive repair, information technology, cosmetology, nursing, culinary arts, masonry, and so on. About 25 percent of graduates in Prince George’s County don’t pursue postsecondary education opportunities.

“It means we can make updates and buy new materials and equipment,” the Post quoted Crossland principal Theresa Moseley Fax as saying. Some programs, she pointed out, such as the masonry program, have been in need of upgrades for several years or even decades.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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