Announced via press release yesterday:
County Executive Ball Releases Statement on Council Vote Supporting School System Audit
ELLICOTT CITY – Today, the Howard County Council unanimously voted (4-0) to pass Howard County Executive Calvin Ball’s resolution calling for a state audit of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). Ball pre-filed the resolution in June and announced a draft scope of the audit earlier in July. Today, Ball released the following statement on the Council vote:
“Howard County has a well-deserved reputation for great schools and I want to ensure we are providing the highest caliber education for all our students for years to come. I proposed a performance audit of our school system, conducted independently by the Maryland State Department of Education, to provide a full picture of our expenditures and find the best financial path forward. Today, I am grateful to the Howard County Council for their unanimous vote to support the audit of our school system’s spending.
The audit process is an important opportunity to build even more accountability and transparency for our schools, find ways to support all our children and educators, and make our schools even better. We expect to focus on five key areas, established through cooperation with HCPSS: 1) Health and Dental Fund, 2) Budgeting and Actual Expenditure Variance, 3) Personnel Cost Development, 4) Supplemental Income/Non-Salary Benefits, and 5) Procurement. Every educator, student, parent, and resident in Howard County deserves to know exactly how and where our money is being spent. Together, we are ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being spent sensibly, to best serve our students.
I want to express my thanks to Council members Liz Walsh, Deb Jung, David Yungmann, and Council Chair Christiana Mercer Rigby, for their votes of support. Though he was not able to attend the vote, I also thank Vice Chair Opel Jones for his continued support. Thanks as well to the Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Martirano, and the HCPSS for engaging with us in the spirit of collaboration and cooperating with us to define the scope of the audit. We will continue to find the best path forward for all our students and the community.”
I have one wish on this topic…as soon as the audit is started and completed…that it is announced and the full audit and findings are released to the public for review. If we are going to spend this money on this initiative…I just want to be sure that the public will know that it is happening and see the results at the end of this process.