BOE approved FY 2023-2024 budget
May 27th, 2022
The Howard County Board of Education on May 26 adopted its Operating and Capital Budgets for the 2022-2023 school year (FY 2023). The General Fund operating budget totals $1.03 billion, an increase of $74.8 million over FY 2022 which represents a 7.8 percent change. The FY 2023 capital budget totals $105,887,000, to support capital projects, including new High School #13 and Hammond High School, both scheduled to be completed for school year 2023 and 2024, respectively.
The approved FY 2023 operating budget advances the school system’s ability to meet the growing student needs for academic and behavioral supports, special education, and health services. It also provides funding for employee compensation increases and fully funds negotiated collective bargaining agreements. In addition, the FY 2023 budget will begin the funding increases needed to meet the initial requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, including the phased-in expansion to full-day prekindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds. In total, the FY 2023 budget adds more than 380 positions in the operating budget.
“I am pleased the budget provides funds to ensure our students receive the much-needed services to support their mental health and academic needs compounded by the pandemic,” said Board Chair Vicky Cutroneo. “I want to thank the County Executive, County Council, Superintendent Martirano, and our school system staff for working collaboratively to advance this budget. Almost half of our total new positions will go directly to support special education where we know we need to continue investing.”
“The budget advances many critical need areas within our system by providing resources and new staff positions to support our students and staff and will have a significant impact on the academic and behavioral supports, and health and special education services we are able to provide,” said HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano. “Through our fiscal management, we have eliminated the Health Fund deficit and can now focus on adding these much-needed supports and services for our students and staff. I am pleased that this budget will provide compensation increases for our employees while laying the foundation to implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future over the next ten years.”
“I am particularly proud that the budget continues our investment in special education by funding a total of 186.8 new special education positions, continuing our system’s record growth advanced for special education over the last several budget cycles,” added Martirano.
Howard County funding is increasing $45 million over the required Maintenance of Effort funding, an increase of 7.2 percent, plus nonrecurring funding of $2.3 million that has been conditionally approved by the Maryland State Board of Education (MSDE). State sources of revenue increased by $38.6 million, an increase of 13.7 percent, driven by the implementation of per pupil funding increases required in Blueprint legislation. Federal and other sources of funding remain the same year-over-year. The remaining funds to balance the budget come from the use of unassigned fund balance in the amount of $28.9 million, an increase of $1.9 million from the FY 2022 budget.
Critical Investments to Meet Increased Student Needs
The pandemic has permanently reshaped and redefined public education service levels, compounding the challenges for staff in meeting students’ needs. The budget advances resources and new staff positions necessary to prepare HCPSS to meet students’ increased needs for academic and behavioral supports, special education and health services. The budget includes:
- Full funding of special education with 186.8 positions, including the special education services to expand full-day prekindergarten programs
- 1 LGBTQIA+ liaison position
- 15 liaison positions, including 5 Black Student Achievement Program liaisons, 4 Hispanic achievement liaisons and 2 international achievement liaison positions including an additional 4 liaisons added by the Board on May 19, 2022
- 10 student health services staff including 2 nurses, 7 health assistants and 1 health specialist
- 15 student well-being & support positions, including 6 counselors, 8 psychologists, 1 pupil personnel worker, along with the well-being and support positions supporting student needs expanded through Blueprint implementation
Blueprint for Maryland’s Future
The FY 2023 budget includes $25.3 million to begin implementing the core foundation costs needed to meet the requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which begins taking effect next fiscal year and will continue to be rolled out over the next 10 years. FY 2023 Blueprint efforts include:
- Increasing teacher salaries and advancing the minimum teacher salary toward the required $60,000 minimum by FY 2026. The FY 2023 budget increases the minimum teacher salary from $50,000 to $56,228
- 79.8 positions for prekindergarten expansion (44 positions for prekindergarten and 35.8 special education positions included in the 186.8 special education positions already listed)
- 26 positions for college and career readiness
- 6 positions for career ladder implementation, administration, governance, and reporting
In addition, the budget will advance several additional priorities forward including:
- School start times adjustment initiative
- Decrease of class size by 1 at the elementary school level
- Training on alternatives for seclusion and restraint
- New High School #13 administration and custodial positions
- Additional custodial and HVAC maintenance positions
- Funding for increased costs related to student transportation
The Board adopted a FY 2023 Capital Budget totaling $105,887,000, for costs associated with the continued funding for construction of New High School #13 and the renovation and addition to Hammond High School. In addition, ongoing projects will provide maintenance and support of the school system and operational needs including funds to support systemwide technology needs, the relocatable classroom program, projects addressing accessibility concerns through the barrier free line, and systemic maintenance projects.
The adopted FY 2024-2028 Capital Improvement Program and FY 2023-2032 Long-Range Master Plan provide a path forward with the next planned capital projects and ongoing projects to support operational needs.
The final adopted budget will be available online soon. Additional budget information is available online now.