Over the course of several years, parents, staff, and community members organized for new school construction for two Title I elementary schools in Montgomery County: Burnt Mills and South Lake. 

In 2019, the Montgomery County Board of Education made these two schools their top priority for school construction funding, and the Board, along with South Lake and Burnt Mills families and staff, successfully pressured the County Council to act. The Council voted to fund new construction for both schools at the cost of $71 Million. 

However, in spring 2020, Montgomery County Council delayed the construction of South Lake Elementary School, despite that it was in worse condition than any other school in the system. In doing so, they reneged on their previous commitment to renovate both South Lake and Burnt Mills Elementary Schools by fall 2023, a commitment made after the multi-year campaign by AIM leaders to gain recognition for these two Title I schools.

AIM leaders held the Council to account, testifying, calling, and sharing the story of South Lake over several long months. On December 1, the Council voted to restore the 2023 timeline, citing AIM’s “non-traditional” model of community organizing, recognizing AIM leaders by name, and thanking AIM for engaging the press to pressure them to act.

In September 2023, 1,500 students will walk into beautiful new buildings at South Lake and Burnt Mills, heads held high.