I want to start this post with the following…the budget right now for Howard County Public Schools in 2020 is a proposal…and not finalized yet. It is expected to be finalized by the end of this month (I believe). I expect all of these numbers to change before everything is said and done…so this entire post is just to tell you where things are right now as I know them.
I also want to say that I have three different sets of numbers…and none of them match up…I have numbers from the county, the state and the HCPSS…and I swear it is crazy that I can not get one of the three data sets to say the same thing. I am sure someone out there has the right data…for for a members of the public trying to figure it out…this is ridiculous.
The numbers being promoted and talked about on social media and on blogs is an additional $30 million in HCPSS funding in 2020…and that is kind of technically true. Here are some posts stating the $30 million number:
(Facebook post removed)
I wanted to share some charts in this post to help understand it.
If you look at all funding sources: County, State and Other…here are some numbers I got from my sources in Howard County Government:
Now my chart shows the data with and without the $11.1 million in one time funding in 2019. If you ignore the one time funding in 2019…the funding for HCPSS looks outstanding compared to the numbers from 2015 to today…with the one time funding in 2019…the numbers look good on the chart.
There is an additional $30 million in new funding for HCPSS….so that statement is true. That statement is making the rounds on social media from members of the community and elected officials (see above). What they do not say is where that money is coming from in 2020 (most of it is coming from the state).
What is NOT true is that our County Executive has added an additional $30 million in new funding (another statement that is being shared on social media). I am sure he would if he could…but that did not happen in 2020 and you should not be lied to from members of our community.
Here is the Howard County funding part of that budget:
If you ignore the one time funding…the 2020 funding in the budget looks fine…or even good…but if you add in the one time funding in 2020…the funding does not look so great if you compare it to the other funding amounts from 2015 to today on a year by year funding amount from County Government to the school system.
The county has added just over $5 million or $16 million depending on how you look at this budget.
I feel I know the County Executive well enough to know this…if he had the money…he would send it the way of the school system…but this is a difficult budget year and the money is just not there to give the school system everything they want.
I will continue to keep an eye on this topic…and I am on the Sam Seaborn (West Wing) side when it comes to schools:
“Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense.”
I am disappointed in the actions and comments of some in our community…especially those sending messages home with kids from the schools…or those possibly looking to run for office not telling the entire truth.
The school system in Howard County is important…it is critical we keep it the best school system in the state and one of the best in the country…but the rhetoric that is used right now is not great…and the unwarranted attacks on those serving this county are wrong…when they have done nothing wrong at this point.
I have some additional data that will be published in future posts…but I figure this is enough for this morning. Stay tuned for more information.
I hope you all have a wonderful week.