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Board of Education Approves FY2018 Operating and Capital Budget, and FY2019-2023 Capital Improvement Program Requests

Posted: February 24th, 2017

The Howard County Board of Education last night approved an Operating Budget Request for the 2017–2018 school year (Fiscal Year 2018) totaling $872.4 million. The amount requested represents a net increase of $3.5 million over the Superintendent’s budget request and $64.0 million over the amount funded for the FY 2017 school year.

The Board added a total of $4.17 million to its request including the costs to add 93.5 new positions to the budget. New positions added to the budget included 52.0 para-educator positions, 20.0 media para-educator positions, 15 high school media secretary positions, 2.0 behavior specialist positions, a 1.0 reading specialist position, a 0.5 Robinson Nature Center teacher position, a 1.0 Diversity Coordinator, a 1.0 attorney for the Board, and a 1.0 budget analyst/auditor for the Board. Funding was also added to support summer school and intramural programs.

To offset these additions, the Board cut approximately $662,000 from the proposed budget. The impact of the Board’s cuts included a reduction in funding for school system legal fees; and the elimination of funding for school websites, live video streaming of commencement ceremonies, student music performances and other events (with the exception of Board meetings), an annual staff retirement celebration and service milestone recognitions. Additional reductions were made in contracted services and supplies in communications, human resources, and accountability and continuous improvement programs including cuts to suspend the Gallup student strength and staff engagement initiatives.

The Board also approved an FY 2018 Capital Budget Request totaling $93.7 million, a 2019–2023 Capital Improvement Program Request totaling $484.6 million, and a 2018–2027 Long Range Master Plan of $963.9 million.

The Capital Budget request includes funding for a renovation at Patuxent Valley Middle School, scheduled for completion in August 2017; additions at Swansfield and Waverly elementary schools, scheduled for completion in August 2018; renovations at Oakland Mills Middle and Talbott Springs Elementary schools, scheduled for completion in August 2020; and construction of New Elementary School #42, scheduled to open in August 2018. Additional funding is allocated for relocatable classrooms and upgrades to technology and playground equipment.

The Board will submit its budget requests to Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman by mid-March.