Here is a comparison of state category spending between HCPSS (in the middle column) and other neighboring school districts(Baltimore County, Frederick County, Arundel County, Montgomery County) over the last five years. At the current budget level, a 1.0% of HCPSS budget is 9 million dollars.
I believe it is important for the school board and the school system to
- Develop a long-term (five-year?) plan if the school system only gets an MOE (Maintenance of Effort) level funding from the county for the next several years. For example, is there any structural spending problem? If yes, how to fix it. If no, how to fix the budget issue by restructuring them. We have been facing funding shortage in the last several budget cycles.
- Develop a plan if HCPSS gets above the minimal MOE level, how to use that extra money for classroom support, teacher compensation improvement, instructional materials, etc.
- Continue with the established plan to pay down the health fund deficit ( around 32 millions now)
- Partner with the community and stakeholders, advocate a larger share from the county and state funding into HCPSS. This is the most critical part since BOE does not generate money. We are only managing the money allocated for the school system and we have to balance the budget. Without a growing pie, every year’s budget cycle is painful.
- Attract more funding from other resources (grant, HCPSS fundraising, etc)
Another comparison I would love to get is the K-12 funding level for each county over the years.