Howard County Executive Calvin Ball posted the following on Facebook this morning:
There have been a lot of questions about my proposed operating budget for the school system, and I hope the following answers some of them.
Despite fiscal challenges, this year’s proposed budget is the largest in Howard County history, providing the highest total funding increase in over a decade ($46 million/5.4% increase), raising county funding by $16.2 million ($5.4 million over MOE), and fully funds our commitments to our educators.
The Superintendent’s requested increase of $122.8 million triples general fund revenue growth for the entire county, and would necessitate either a 23-cent property tax increase or the elimination of the entire Police Department budget to fund.
While years of under funding can’t be addressed within a single year without making fiscally irresponsible decisions, the proposed budget is more than sufficient to avoid extreme measures like layoffs and furloughs.
For more details about my proposed budget, please, email me at CBall@HowardCountyMD.gov.
Here is the link shared in that post: https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/Budget
Here is the actual post from this morning:
A couple of notes:
- Very happy to not have a 23 cent increase in property taxes.
- Very happy that he did not eliminate the Howard County Police Department (not that this was a real option…but it was mentioned above).
The school budget is the largest chunk of the Howard County Government budget so it is no surprise that it is the most discussed part of the budget year in and year out.
Some would say that the school budget was mismanaged from many years ago and the school system is still trying to deal with the outcome of that mismanagement. No one can have a reasonable expectation that this will be fixed in one or two budget cycles.
My hope (and think some in the community would agree with me) is that the HCPSS, HoCoBOE, County Council and County Executive (and other interested entities) can come together in a reasonable and responsible way to fund the local school system at the highest amount possible (possible being the key word here) in order to support the children in our school system to obtain the highest level of education possible.
We are mid way through May and the budget should be finalized by the end of the month…so we are getting close to this being over this year.