Board Adopts FY2018 Operating and Capital Budgets
Posted: May 25th, 2017
The Howard County Board of Education today adopted its Operating Budget for the 2017–2018 school year (FY2018). The budget totals $819.1 million, or approximately $2.9 million above Maintenance of Effort, which is the minimum level of funding required by state law. The budget represents $572.9 million in county funding, $238.6 million from the state, and $7.6 million from federal and other sources.
“We are very excited that our Fiscal Year 2018 operating and capital budgets are focused on the classroom, and include returning support staff to the media centers and paraeducators to the classrooms,” said Board of Education Chairman Cynthia Vaillancourt. “The Board of Education is pleased to have re-established a collaborative and effective working relationship with our state and county leaders. We are grateful to our new acting superintendent, Dr. Michael J. Martirano, for quickly identifying and securing sufficient resources to support all students, particularly our most vulnerable children, and to honor our negotiated agreements with our excellent educators and staff.”
The budget includes funding for all of the key priorities identified by the Board of Education to support instruction and foster an equitable, engaging learning environment. These include funding for negotiated salary increases, the addition of 87 paraeducator and media secretary positions. A new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position is included in the budget, reflecting a key priority shared by students, staff, community and other stakeholders.
“I am grateful and encouraged by the strong support of our Board of Education, local officials and the community, who are the bedrock of educational excellence. However, I am still very concerned about fixed charges and I am committed to correcting that situation,” said Dr. Martirano, Acting Superintendent. “The Howard County Public School System is well positioned to make further progress in ensuring equity and an excellent instructional program that gives the best possible start in life for every child.”
The school system anticipates closing fiscal year 2017 with a $20 million deficit in the health and dental fund, which is a result of reductions in the funding within fixed charges in the operating budget. The acting superintendent plans to convene a committee of stakeholders to develop a long-term plan to resolve the issue.
The Board adopted a FY18 Capital Budget totaling $65.3 million. The budget 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; construction of New Elementary School #42, scheduled to open in August 2018; a replacement Talbott Springs Elementary School, scheduled for completion and opening in August 2021; and an extensive renovation at Oakland Mills Middle School, scheduled for completion in August 2021. Additional funding is allocated for relocatable classrooms and upgrades to technology and playground equipment.