A collection of information you may find interesting…
Howard County schools superintendent Renee Foose revealed her fiscal 2018 operating budget proposal Tuesday night, an $868.9 million budget request that tops last year’s request by $30.2 million. (Read More)
For those that don’t remember, Superintendent Foose budget request last year was the following “Superintendent Renee Foose’s request of $838.7 million for fiscal year 2017 represents a $62.3 million and 8 percent increase over the current year’s approved budget, and includes funding for 56 new positions to support enrollment growth.” (Read More)
Now in 2017, the school system did not get all of the funds they requested: “Despite a push from the Howard County Public Schools System to restore funding to avoid what school leaders called “devastating” cuts, the budget does not provide additional funding to the school system above the $808.4 million in the council’s proposed budget, which represents a $18.1 million increase over last year and is the second-highest increase over the last eight years.” (Read More)
On top of all of this, this past year we had some really bad audit findings from State Auditors about our school system “state audit of the Howard County Public School System found limited financial controls led to the approval of millions of dollars in salaries, mileage expenses and construction projects without proper approval or procurement.” (Read More)
The Howard County Education Association is supporting this years budget (they also supported last years budget so not sure if this will make a big difference in the end).
We have 3 new Board of Education members and new new Budget Committee, so I will be watching to see what happens with the request for funding this year. One note about the Budget Committee that I read last night “Former Board of Education member Ann DeLacy has been reinstated as the Superintendent’s appointee to the committee due to a technicality in the legislation that created the committee. This is a reversal of the action the Board took to replace her in its first meeting.”
I have not read the new budget proposal for 2018 so I am not sure exactly how I feel about it yet but I do have concerns about a $60 million increase (7.5% increase) in one fiscal year especially given that the school system has shown that it does not follow approval or procurement rules when spending public funds.
What are your thoughts?