Announced via Press Release today:
County Executive Ball Calls For School System Audit
ELLICOTT CITY – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement on his resolution (CR108) calling for a performance audit of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS):
“Today, I pre-filed a resolution calling on the Maryland State Department of Education to contract for a performance audit of the Howard County Public School System. The audit process is an important opportunity to assess our current path and find ways to support all of our children and educators, while making our schools even better. It will help us evaluate our strengths and determine how to spend more efficiently.
This year we were proud to provide significant funding to our schools, with direct appropriation of $607.2 million and total funding of $897.3 million when adding in state dollars. We also fully funded the teachers collective bargaining agreement, including salary increases for our valued educators as well as sufficient funding to maintain class size, and even fully fund employee healthcare costs.
Looking ahead, we want to ensure all our schools are prepared to adapt to the needs of all our students. We will only be able to solve our challenges if we work together and have a full understanding of the financial picture with complete transparency.
I believe that every educator, student, parent, and resident in Howard County deserves to know exactly how and where our money is being spent. Similar to audits in neighboring jurisdictions, we can then use this information to help us budget smarter in the next year, 5 years, and 10 years down the road.
This state-level audit will help us all get the full picture of our school system spending. It will promote accountability and ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent sensibly to make our schools the very best they can be, for every student.”
The full resolution can be found here.
The bill calls for a study of the following items:
- Legal fees and payments to and the use of outside counsel;
- Procurement process;
- Vendor payments/invoices;
- Administration staffing levels and salaries;
- Fund balance levels;
- and Outsourced activities.
Let’s all hope this happens and we (the public) get an opportunity to read the audit when it is completed.