Howard County Councilmember Deb Jung posted the following on Facebook today:

Many of you have been following the education budget hearings and funding requests, so I thought you might want to know how the process unfolded and resolved.

After many hours of hearings, factfinding, and discussions with school board members and school district personnel, Councilmember Walsh and I decided to sponsor three education funding amendments, totaling $8 million, to help close the FY2020 budget shortfall for HCPSS. These bills reallocated funds from inefficiencies within the County government, including funding identified from numerous unfilled positions and departmental surpluses.

Before the budget vote, we filed an amendment to the overall budget which initially proposed that a total of $7.3 million be transferred to HCPSS. As this amendment did not have a majority support, we amended it from the dais to $2.1 million for instruction, $1.2 million for transportation and $4 million to help address the health fund deficit. All three amendments failed on a two-three vote with myself and Councilmember Walsh voting in favor of the amendments, Rigby, Yungmann and Jones voting against them.

During the voting session on the education budget, Councilmember Yungmann sought to decrease instruction funding amendment to $1.3 million; his revision passed by a three-to-two vote, and ultimately was the only amendment agreed upon by all five council members. In addition to the $1.3 million for instruction, the Council also supported our amendments for $300,000 for a substitute teacher pay raise and $400,000 for bus routing software for enrollment growth.

The final vote increased funding to HCPSS by $2 million, and, while an increase, not one that will adequately address the school system’s needs. The school board will be reviewing and revising the budget next week.

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Scott E

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