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Board of Education Adopts FY19 Operating and Capital Budgets

Posted: May 31st, 2018

The Howard County Board of Education adopted its Operating Budget for the 2018-2019 school year (FY2019) on May 31, 2018. The budget totals $861.9 million, or approximately $17.0 million above Maintenance of Effort, which is the minimum level of funding required by state law. The budget represents $600.1 million in county funding, $249.3 million from the state, and $12.6 million from federal and other sources.

“I am very pleased that our Fiscal Year 2019 operating and capital budget address our fiscal responsibility to provide a balanced, complete and accurate budget. It provides for resources to support all students, particularly our most vulnerable children, as well as the excellent educators and staff who are responsible for their education and care,” said Board of Education Chairman Cynthia Vaillancourt. “We are deeply grateful to our County Council, Executive and community for their commitment to our children and the classroom.”

The operating budget includes $5.6 million in additional county funding to maintain class sizes at current levels, which represented the Board’s top priority for any additional funding appropriations, and $110 thousand for an additional position in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The budget also includes funding for negotiated salary increases and employee benefits, and fully funds the Health Fund for the first time in ten years. HCPSS will work with County and State partners to develop a multi-year plan to address the projected $50.5 million deficit in the Health Fund for prior year health care costs. This deficit accrued due to a lack of adequate funding for HCPSS’ share of employee health costs.

“I greatly appreciate the strong support of our Board of Education, elected officials and the community, whose commitment to our students stands firm despite a very challenging budget climate,” said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, Howard County Public School System Interim Superintendent. “I look forward to our continued collaboration in advancing educational equity and innovation, while we work together to find solutions to our most pressing challenges. This budget demonstrates our responsible approach to taking care of our students as well as the staff who care for them.”

The Board adopted a FY2019 Capital Budget totaling $71.8 million, which includes a $2.5 million allocation from the county for critical school security projects. The budget includes funding for a renovation and addition at Waverly Elementary School, scheduled for completion in fall 2018; the final stages of construction for new Hanover Hills Elementary School, scheduled to open in fall 2018; planning and design for a replacement Talbott Springs Elementary School, scheduled to open in fall 2022, and for new High School #13, scheduled to open in fall 2023; and a renovation and addition for Hammond High School, scheduled for completion in fall 2023. Additional funding is allocated for systemic renovations and repairs, relocatable classrooms and upgrades to technology.

Details of the budget decisions are available online.