Here are two presentations about revenue expectation, program and service gaps based on superintendent’s proposed budget.
We are at least short of 40 million dollars unfortunately.
For more than 25 years, Columbia Association (CA) has been recognizing high school seniors for outstanding service to their community. Up to six $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors from local high schools who have shown a history of providing community service to benefit Columbia residents and those in the Columbia area.
For details, eligibility requirements and application, go to ColumbiaAssociation.org/scholarship. Completed applications must be submitted by March 15.
Here are the big numbers and timeline. The total requested budget will be 964.1 million dollars. It is 62.7 million more than last year approved budget.
The FY 2021 Proposed Budget totals $964.1 million, representing an expenditure increase of $62.7 million, or 7.0 percent.
If advanced by the Board of Education, the revenue to support this request will require an increase from the county totaling
$63.2 million. Overall, the total revenue request from the county is $670.4 million, or 10.4 percent over FY 2020.
Attached please find Legislative Report – 2020 General Assembly. This report has recommendation from HCPSS staff and BOE legislative committee. This year, our Howard County delegates proposed many laws for HCPSS and HoCo BOE.
The board will vote one by one and provide position to the state legislatures.
Here is the plan to address HCPSS health fund deficit. The plan takes many years with the effort from the county government and HCPSS. We will discuss this plan with the county council next Monday.
Detailed plan is attached here:
The Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland authorizes the election of a student member of the Howard County Board of Education. Howard County Policy 2010 specifies that Howard County students in grades 6-11 shall have the opportunity to elect the Student Member of the Howard County Board of Education to a one-year term.
Please refer to the two attachments on this email including both the letter to school leaders detailing their role in the election process and the complete Student Member of the Board of Education Application explaining the position and the expectations for students. HCASC made an electronic version of the application for the Student Member of the Board position available on the HCASC website https://hcasc.hcpss.org/
|HCASC: Many Students, One VoiceAttend the January 2020 HCASC Meeting. HCASC’s next meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Homewood Center. Attend the December 2019 HCASC Meetinghcasc.hcpss.org|
and also provided access to the applications through the offices of Student Services at each high school.
It is now time to receive applications for the next Student Member of the Howard County Board of Education. Any current sophomore or junior in Howard County may apply for this position. The student must be regularly enrolled in an HCPSS high school, academically eligible, and a junior or senior in the 2020-2021 school year. The student elected by the students of Howard County will serve a one‑year term on the Howard County Board of Education, July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.HCASC students will plan, manage, and host the student delegate convention on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 to review the Student Member of the Board of Education applicants and nominate the final two candidates who will run for the Student Member of the Board of Education position. Delegates will represent every middle and high school in accordance with Policy 2010.
The HCASC advisor and current Student Member will hold an information meeting for candidates and their parents or guardians on February 25, 2020 to further explain the campaign process and guidelines. The candidates selected will then participate in the campaign process by creating and distributing campaign materials, including a video produced by HCASC and HCPSS that will show at all voting schools on election day April 22, 2020.Thank you for your continued support of the Student Member of the Board and all of the students in Howard County Public Schools. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions regarding the Student Member of the Board position, convention, election process, or student voice.
The board voted to move HS 13, Hammond High and Talbott Spring projects forward. That means HS 13 will move forward, and construct to start in May 2020.
In May 2020, we may know whether we can move forward (go out for bid) with Hammond High or not. The board need make a decision at that time. We are worrying about local funding match and state funding math at the same time unfortunately.
Here is an update on the redistricting exemption.
Here is the letter from HoCo BOE to the county executive. HCPSS saved around 15 million dollars last year. The board wanted to ask the county approval to use this 15 million dollars to pay down the existing 39 million health fund deficit.
If HCPSS uses this 15 million dollars for FY 2021 recurring operating budget , HCPSS will have an ever growing deficit in 2022. First, the 39 million health fund deficit will not decrease. Second that 15 million dollars will become a deficit, or 27 million dollars if the 12 million dollars from FY 2019-2020 deficit is included again. Note in FY 2019-2002, HCPSS used a one time balance to fund the recurring budget. Now immediately coming into this FY 2021 budget cycle, we have an existing 12 million deficit already, on top of the 39 million health fund deficit.
This is exactly one of many reasons that we got 50 million dollars health fund deficit before, using one time fund to pay recurring cost. We should not repeat old mistakes again.
There are four scenario HCPSS is considering now, among HS 13, Systematic Renovations , Hammond High Renovation/Addition, Talbot Springs Replacement. Please see the tables attached. These were shared with the county council this Monday morning.
Based on what we are now, we need move forward HS 13 and Systematic Renovation. Depending how much extra money the county can give to HCPSS, HCPSS may move forward with the other two projects.
Please advocate and ask the county executive and county council for support. Unfortunately the fee from the increased development impact fee will not be materialized until next year, otherwise it will be able to fund more needs for HCPSS.
Some other public communicated letters between BOE and the County Executive are attached here for reference too.
Now more parents understand that HCPSS will face another tough budget year of 2021. Even before the superintendent presents his budget to the board, the board begins to receive many feedback from the community.
With the permission from the original sender, here is one email talking about the 2021 budget. Some of the points are very thoughtful and useful. At such a difficult budget time, every penny is important to HCPSS.
The document talks about cost saving measures related to: testing, renovation, printing, textbooks, busing, building usage fee, staffing formula, technology usage, etc.
Here is the document:
On November 21, 2019, the Board of Education finalized a decision to move more than 5,000 students to new schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, the Board voted to exempt several student groups from the redistricting decision, allowing them the option of attending the new school or remaining at their current school.
The exemptions apply to the following groups of students:
The Board also identified several of these student groups as eligible for bus transportation if choosing to remain at their current school. Parents of students who are eligible for an exemption must make their decision by December 13 by following the instructions below.
View your child(ren)’s school assignment for next year and, if applicable, begin the exemption process, via HCPSS Connect. Be sure to do this for each child as options may be different based on the exemption status.
If your child is eligible for an exemption, you will see the option to choose the school they will attend next school year and a transportation option if applicable. Remaining at their current school is optional, so it is important that you decide which school you would like your child to attend for the 2020-2021 school year. Eligible students of parents/guardians who do not complete the exemption process will be moved to the redistricted school next year. This decision must be made by December 13, 2019.
If you believe your child qualifies for an exemption and do not see that option in HCPSS Connect, please contact your child’s current school immediately.
Please contact your child’s school with any additional questions or visit the HCPSS website for more information.
Revised a little bit.
This redistricting process has been a soul-searching process for me, both as an individual citizen who has children in our school system and as a board member who is making decisions that have impact on thousands of students and their families. I never anticipated it would happen in such a dramatic fashion. When I was elected last year, I was eager to serve on the board and my goal was to improve education for Howard County, a place where I call home. When the board voted unanimously early this year to direct the superintendent to begin a comprehensive school redistricting process, I expected the redistricting to solve the most pressing issue of overcrowding in our schools and be as less disruptive as possible to the families.
Instead, we made a crisis by placing balancing FARM rate as the highest priority for this redistricting. As a first-generation immigrant and a student from poverty, and an ESOL student myself, I fully support diversity, inclusion and equity. However, equity cannot be achieved by simply balancing FARM rates. We need find the right and good balance among capacity, community and improving socioeconomic situation. In some schools we improved socioeconomic balance. In some schools, we created small feeds. In some schools, we created longer commute. Sure, we reduced overcrowding in many schools.
Early this year, we struggled to balance the fiscal year 2020 budget, and we had to cut many teaching positions. We have delayed the much needed Talbott Springs ES replacement and Hammond HS addition and expansion. We are now facing an even bigger budget crisis for fiscal 2021 starting with a $60 million shortage. This massive redistricting process with additional transportation cost in all likelihood will make the situation even worse.
Many families chose to live in Howard County for its diverse and inclusive environment and for our great public school system. Throughout the process, I read all of the emails, and replied to most of the emails that directly addressed to me before last week. I also met and talked to many community members. My notes filled 2 large notebooks. The key message from the community has been: Don’t move my kids. We love our community school. As elected BOE members, we are obligated to listen to our constituents and try to provide the stability that they ask from us. The principle should be Do no harm. Our goal should be to support ALL students in our school system.
Through this entire process, almost in each work session, I have kept asking our board members: what is our objective and goal for this redistricting? What is the threshold for capacity utilization at each school? Unfortunately, we have never came up with a consensus among board members. We started the massive process without a clear goal. We were rushed by the timeline and eager to get to the finish line, which many people felt not justified and unfair, especially to those affected late in the process. Those communities were not afforded fair opportunity to participate in the public hearing sessions. Some schools were disproportionately impacted by this redistricting plan. For example, Altholton, Oakland, Waterloo, and many more schools have undergone a drastic change and some small feeds were also created, which is not consistent with the policy.
The cascading impact ran through like a tornado and many schools were impacted during this comprehensive redistricting. Under a tornado, everyone gets hurt.
To my fellow board members, they each brought their own perspectives to the process. Ms. Cutroneo has been raising many issues and listed all new developments in each polygon. Ms. Mallo had worked tirelessly with maps all over her house. Her focus on Columbia is undeniable. Ms. Coombs has been providing many useful inputs in Columbia and other areas. Ms. Ellis has been keeping the meeting in order. Ms. Demont-Small’s full feeder system attracted many attention. Ms. Taj was the FARM rate checker during the process. Thank you all for your hard work!
For myself, I want to be the voice which advocates evidence-based solution and keep our students in the center of decision making and have a long-term plan. I am advocating for better process, better criteria and better priority for all students. In many cases, I am the lonely voice, but I will keep advocating. Some of my work throughout the process included
I believe wholeheartedly that students and parents love their community schools. The sense of belongings to their school is an integral part of their growth. We have a very diverse student body in every aspect. This is a free country and people make their own choices on where to live. The housing pattern which caused the affordable housing singular distribution across the county cannot realistically be addressed by the school board. We will simply not be able to redistrict our overcrowded schools in the near future, especially in elementary schools and middle schools. The average elementary and middle school capacity will reach 110% soon. If High School 13 opens on time, that will bring some relief to the high school level. However, I don’t see a new elementary or middle school within 10 years. We need to face this reality.
Moving forward, I have the following recommendations to the board:
Let’s continue to work together and bring the community together and serve all students.
The redistricting will take place in 2020-2021. Official result can be found at https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/Public under Nov. 21, 2019 meeting (Area Attendance Adjustment, Item 12).
Scott E’s blog put a list of all of them at https://scotteblog.com/2019/11/08/howard-county-state-delegation-places-bullseye-directly-on-hcpss-with-legislation-headed-to-annapolis-in-2020/ .
However, the county government website is empty: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/About-HoCo/State-Delegation/2020-Session-Proposed-Local-Legislation
I am not sure what is happening there. However, I strongly opposed to the bill: Howard County – Board of Education – Redetermination of Geographic Attendance Areas, Ho. Co. 1-20.
I remembered I saw earlier version that our state senators wanted to school board to have school redistricting every year once the school capacity utilization falls out of 90-110%. In reality, the school utilization is a float number. What happens if the school capacity is 110.05%? We will never achieve exactly 90-110% range. There should be a margin to this magic 90-110% range. How about 85-115%? In reality, any capacity utilization over 100% should be regarded as overcrowded.
This legislation and this level of micromanagement on HCPSS will really mess up our school system.
Another point I want to make is that many of our HoCo state delegates and senators represents Baltimore County too. In Baltimore County, the school system has an overall net capacity ( more seats than students) while HCPSS has negative seats in all three levels, but some Baltimore County school has a capacity of 152%, for example : Chadwick Elementary School (Ref: http://www.bcps.org/system/students_count/misc/SC2018%20FINAL%20013019.pdf ). I am not sure why our delegate did not propose the same bill for Baltimore County.
Please share your feedback with our legislatures: For further information, contact the Howard County Delegation Office at 410-841-3360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Scot E blog: Any individual may testify for up to 3 minutes, as long as they are signed up. Signup will begin at 6:00pm outside the Banneker Room and will close at 6:50pm.Advance sign up is not available. The Delegation encourages you to bring written copies of your testimony (preferably 15) to distribute to us, though it is not a requirement to speak. Please be aware that the Delegation Chairs can change the format of the meeting at their discretion. The hearing is scheduled as follows: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.Banneker Room, George Howard Building3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MDThe 2020 legislative session will begin on January 8, 2020
Ellicott City, Maryland — The Howard County Board of Education approved the 2020–2021 academic calendar during its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 7, 2019. The next school year will begin on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, for students and on Monday, August 17, 2020, for school staff. Winter break will be December 24–January 1, with schools reopening on Monday, January 4, 2021. Spring Break will run from April 2–9, 2021. The last day of school is scheduled for June 10, 2021.
Six days at the end of the school year are designated for potential use if needed to make up inclement weather closing days.
The academic calendar is designed to provide for continuity in instructional programming and time for teachers to engage in professional work and growth activities. It reflects the school system’s respect for student and staff religious observances and allows a traditional break from schoolwork during winter and spring. The calendar complies with Maryland law requiring at least 180 instructional days, as well as negotiated agreements and district policies.
The 2020–2021 academic calendar can be viewed online.