I wrote “Presentation of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY21 Operating Budget on January 9th” to provide some history of past approved HCPSS budgets in advance of the operating budget presentation last night.

The HCPSS Superintendent presented his budget and here is the chart I always like to start with:

As you can see the ask for the 2021 operating budget is over $964 million…which would be over $62 million from what was approved in FY2020. The biggest portion of this jump (if approved) would come from the county (over $63 million).

Here is information about the $63+ million from the budget book:

The primary source of revenue for the Howard County Public School System is the appropriation from the Howard County Government. The county allocation of $670.4 million represents a Maintenance of Effort (MOE) level of funding of $610.3 million as provided for in State Law (based on an increase of 981* students), plus $43.8 million to invest in educators and students, $9.0 million one-time funding to reduce the Health Fund deficit, and $7.3 million for community support.

If you add up funding increases from the county to HCPSS over the last 4 budget cycles (FY2017 – FY2020) the total amount of new funding (including “one time funding”) is $63,055,375. It is hard to image that this year the county will have the funds to fully support this request. I hope there is a backup plan in place.

These documents were just released last night and I have not had an opportunity to do a “deep dive” on the numbers but that is my plan over the weekend (in between attending events and hanging out with the family). Here are links to the budget documents:

The next step for the HoCoBOE is a series of hearings and work sessions in January and February:

I expect I will have more on this topic as I dig deeper into the numbers.

Scott E

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