The Howard County Board of Education has the following meetings leading up to the adoption of the FY2021 Capital and Operating Budgets for the Howard County Public School System:

June 9th at 12:30pm: Work Session (See Agenda)

June 9th at 4:30pm: Work Session (See Agenda)

June 10th at 1:00pm: Work Session (See Agenda)

June 11th at 3:00pm: Meeting to adopt the budget (See Agenda)

Note – the session for June 10th was changed from 9:00am to 1:00pm. I have been told it is scheduled to last until 4:00pm.

Additional Note – after three short work sessions on June 9th and 10th (the session on the 10th ended at 2:15pm) the board stated that additional work sessions will be scheduled and a new adoption date will be set for the budget. Once that information is published I will put together a new article with the updated timeline.

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The Howard County Council adopted the county budget back on May 27th that included:

  • Operating budget: a $13.1 million budget increase for HCPSS over last year’s budget and exceeding Maintenance of Effort (MOE) levels by $2.7 million
  • Capital budget items for HCPSS including:
    • $11.3 million in County funding for High School #13.  
    • $15.1 million in County funding for the Talbott Springs Elementary School replacement.  
    • $21.5 million in County funding toward the Hammond High School renovation and addition to increase capacity. 

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After seven budget work sessions between January 14th and February 11th the Board of Education made a recommendation to the county of a $50 million operating budget increase back on February 13th (an amount the board members knew they would never receive all of this budget cycle).

The County Executive submitted his budget proposal of $13.1 million in operating funds for the school system back on April 20th.

The County Council had numerous work sessions before deciding on the final budget adoptions on May 27th as noted above in the article.

and now…

Thirteen days have passed since the County Council adopted the budget and this is the first public session on the budget by the Board of Education. The Board of Education is going to try and squeeze in all of the discussions in three work sessions over two days and then make all final decisions on the third day.

This budget adoption system for our school system seems super rushed at the end and not they way it should be (in my opinion).

Some very difficult decisions are going to be made today and tomorrow and those public discussions and work sessions should have started back in late April or May after the County Executive made his recommendations.

Maybe the next Board can make changes to this process because the end of this process appears bad (again…my opinion) and all it has done is cause a ton of rumors about what will get funded and what will not from members of our community. I also think that the board should spend more time than two days to finalize this budget in public view.

If you agree…we have an entire listing of candidates running for Howard County Board of Education…let them know what you think and get their opinion on the budget process as it stands today.

Have additional thoughts…let me know in the comments.

Scott E

2 COMMENTS

  1. I totally agree with you. The entire budgeting process needs a serious overhaul. Yun Lu and Sezin Palmer will get it done. They actually read the almost 600 page document.

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