Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee Report
July 9, 2020 Report to the Howard County Board of Education
The presentation is here:
Here are three documents for you. Decision 5,4,3 passed by the board. The superintendent will come back later with the removal of Digital Education Center and a revised plan. Updated: 2020-07-09 22:30.
Revised for publication
Welcome Mr. Koung to serve on the board. It is a tough job this year with so much unknowns. We look forward to working with you.
School reopen will be tonight’s main focus. I believe the health of our students, teachers and staff are the highest priority. Whatever approach the school is taking, we will keep that in mind. Then how to implement a workable solution will involve all stakeholders. For example, we had a survey to understand our students/parents, teachers’ concern and need.
At the same time, until we have a solid data to know how many teachers are committed to come back to the classroom, we are not able to make any sound decision for the fall easily.
For some schools, maybe there are 10% teachers who want to come back to teach. For some subjects, maybe all the teachers want to teach online. So we need the solid data, not the survey data to make a sound decision. Our decision should be flexible and workable.
We need to work hard to give parents, students and teachers different options to suit their individual situation and need. If possible, they can choose online or classroom instruction. We need to put more efforts and priority into students who need more resources, for example, students with special needs, and students lagging behind already.
Thanks for community members for your input. We know every one care about this schedule. Prof. Meagan Fitzpatrick from University of Maryland helped me to understand the various disease spreading modeling, which is very informative and useful.
Again, I want to emphasize the importance of our online teaching curriculum. I want our school to use this opportunity and develop a flexible/robust online curriculum and integrate them into the classroom curriculum for our future.
Tonight we are going to talk about equity policy too. Equity, inclusiveness, diversity and respect are all working together. These objectives are mutually supportive and inclusive and we should work in such a manner. Also we need to take historical background and cultural sensitivity into consideration. We have a long way to go. During this process, I believe we should take a positive and affirmative approach to overcome any challenges, address each problem one by one, unite the majority of our people and embrace a better future.
Finally, I appreciate the feedback from Jewish Federation of Howard County and I am sorry for the omission.
I ask the board to reconsider my motion I made during last board meeting and amend it as following:
Move the Howard County Board of Education denounce any bias and racism towards African American, Asian American, Latino American, Muslim American, LGBTQ+ community, the Jewish community and any other groups who have been ignored, marginalized, discriminated against and/or oppressed and allocate resources in accordance with these values as a school system and a Board.
Note: the original motion and this motion passed unanimously.
By Dr. Chao Wu,
Board Member, Howard County Board of Education
After the FY 2020-2021 budget vote, I reflected and wrote a short essay on this. Hopefully this will help and guide us for the next year’ HCPSS budget discussion. The article has the follow sections:
I want to thank every teacher and staff members who have been working really hard during this unprecedented time. I want to give every teacher a raise, a competitive salary among neighboring counties. I want to raise our substitute teacher salaries to be competitive with other counties too.
Unfortunately, we have to make a budget based on how much money we have and what we can do. We are not laying off any staff. Job security for our staff is my number one priority in this challenging situation. We are still providing an average 2% salary raise for teachers and 1% for AMT staff. We are ramping up support for special education. We are fully funding the health care cost and gradually reducing the historical health fund deficit. We are able to continue on the equity path to provide quality education to all students. As an intermediate solution, we are seeing another class size increase for three consecutive years unfortunately.
I thank our staff, the superintendent, and all bargaining units, who have come together and make the budget happen.
After the vote, I have been self-reflecting on the budget process and where we can further change and continue to improve, especially for our future budget.
The board unanimously adopted its FY 2020-2021 budget on Thursday, June 18,2020. The operating budget is 918.7 million, an increase of 17.2 million over FY 2020. We used a 5 million fund balance for FY 20-21 budget. Among the efforts:
Unfortunately the class size will be increased for the third consecutive years. On average, elementary school will increase class size by one in FY 2020-FY 2021. Middle school and high school will increase class size by 1.25.
I have been asking HCPSS staff to project our future funding needs. Instead, I created a short table as follows with explanations below. Please note this is not an extensive or complete or accurate list. This is a rough projection.
|Budget Increase Need Per Year||Amount|
|Student Growth Budget Need (800 new students)||10.22 million ***|
|Fully Fund Health Care||5 million|
|Possible COLA Salary/Step Increase for Our Workforce||6 million|
Board Approved Tuition Rate: In-State Elementary/ Secondary in the amount of $10,650 and Special Education in the amount of $31,950.
Each year, the school has around 800 new students, where 10% are special education students. The total county cost for student growth is around 10650*720+31950*80 = 10.22 million.
So we need to invest extra 10.22 million dollars to catch up with the student growth each year. Please remember the county funding formula (MOE) for HCPSS is using the student population from the previous year such that this extra 800 new students are not funded in the formula. This is the common problem for many school systems which see a continuous student growth and the funding increase could not catch up with the increased need.
This section may be updated depending on how this calculation is revisited based on feedback from our staff and other people. Another calculation I am thinking is to use the average per student cost, which is around 16k. Then the total is 16k per student per year * 800= 12.8 million.
On average, the health care cost increase is around 5 million dollars per year. In some years, it was an 11 million dollars increase.
In the past 10 years, our workforce has received a salary increase between 1% and 5%. That is the reason I am writing a possible 1% increase at least. The 6 million dollars is an estimate based on this year’s 2% salary increase (12 million dollars).
We have a historical 32 million dollars health fund deficit inherited from former superintendents’ era, which has to be paid down over the years. With the plan worked out with the county government, we need to pay around 8 million dollars per year to pay it down. The original deficit was 50 million dollars.
During the discussion, we heard the teacher salary (State Category 2) increase was fully funded. In reality, when there is an increase of salary, other expenses (benefits, retirement) will go up as well. We will not be able to give a teacher salary increase, but not give them the associated benefit increase. So unless everything associated with a full compensation package for an employee is fully funded, we could not call the salary increase fully funded.
Second, many teachers’ salaries are not funded in State Category 2. For example, there are more than 1200 special education teachers whose salaries are not funded in Category 2.
Third, the health care cost keeps increasing at a faster pace than anything else. In order to avoid the health fund deficit issue that happened before ( with an accumulated deficit of 32 million now), we need to fully fund the health care cost. The school system cannot run at a deficit by law.
It is a little complicated and I want to make it easier for the general public to understand it.
During the last two weeks of the budget discussion, we received thousands of emails asking the board not to cut the budget. In reality, the board is not generating money ourselves. We fully rely on the funding from the county and the state to operate. They give us money and we make a budget and balance the budget.
Furthermore, when the board was in negotiation with the unions, we were not allowed by law to discuss anything about employee salary and benefit publicly. We were not able to comment on the negotiations publicly. The public and our workforce definitely felt the frustration because of the communication restriction on these topics. We had to rely on the union leadership to relay the message back to union members.
For the school budget, if we don’t ask for it, we don’t get it from the county government and the county council. At the same time, we know the county has so much need and we will not get the full amount we ask. So we have a very delicate balance here since we want to present a fair and reasonable budget for discussion.
Furthermore, the county executive and the county council can claim they fully fund something by State Category. However, all categories are interconnected when our staff is preparing for the budget. In general, we are not able to separate one category totally from other categories while considering funding.
Realizing our funding will be short for the near future, I have been advocating for a change in the budget process to avoid the last minute change and uncertainty which is painful and hurts the morale of our workforce.
We could consider a budget into two parts.
Many people are now realizing that HCPSS is facing a structural deficit issue. The funding increase could not catch up with the student population growth and other increasing needs.
In reality, the share of the county funding into HCPSS is swinging up and down. HCPSS budget was previously mismanaged and underfunded such that we are facing such a difficult situation now.
We hear there are people calling for higher tax. However, tax for our county residents is very high already. Our tax rate is top 3 in Maryland. Raising tax may have a detrimental effect on our economy and in the end it may hurt our tax base in the long run.
Furthermore, additional tax revenue does not mean it will be provided to HCPSS. I want to avoid the failed promise and fiasco that Maryland state gambling money would go into education when some people promoted the gambling industry. Yes, some gambling money went into education, but original money was diverted away.
The county may receive 20 million dollar additional revenue by increasing some tax rate, but the county may give only 1 or 2 millions to HCPSS. I have been advocating for HCPSS to receive a larger share (percentage) of the county revenue.
There are many “wants” in the county budget and we may need to shrink those “wants” and redirect the money to HCPSS. Our excellent school system is one of the most important reasons that many families come here and 90% of county revenue comes from property tax and income tax.
We need to cherish the support and trust from families who live here and HCPSS must provide an excellent, equitable and individualized education for our students.
Thanks for reading this.
Revised for publication.
First I would like to thanks our student board member Allison Alston, who has demonstrated a strong leadership. When I saw her performance at Reservoir High School’s Black History Month, I was really surprised and admired. You are a super star. We will miss you.
Today, I will talk about something different. The nation is watching the hardship, struggle and pain the African American community are experiencing. As a community member and a school board member, I share the same pain and the same concern: Where are we going? How can we get to the point where injustice will go away? When will everyone have the same opportunity to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential?
Two recent events highlighted here:
All these events made me think: What can we do to eliminate explicit and implicit biases, microaggression, discrimination and oppression? How can we systematically implement the necessary actions steps?
The questions are tough to answer as we are naturally inclined to find a fast and easy way out, yet unsuccessfully so. The inconvenient truth is, only when we are able to face the reality truthfully and do self-reflecting and soul-searching, we are able to move forward. We can aim big, however, we should act small, starting with incremental steps for which we have the ability to execute as well as to examine the outcomes each step along the way.
I agree that HCPSS should include more anti-bias training to help our workforce to better connect with the students and families. These connections will create stronger motivations for our students to work hard and also provide more opportunities for them to excel. We also need to increase culture proficiency training.When we do so, we need to ensure that everyone is included. No individuals or groups should feel being ignored, marginalized, discriminated against and/or oppressed.
I agree that HCPSS should work hard to reduce bias during the hiring process to increase workforce diversity and leadership diversity. When we do so, we need to ensure that everyone is included. No individuals or groups should feel being ignored, marginalized, discriminated against and/or oppressed.
I agree that HCPSS should include a more diverse curriculum to help our students expand their learning horizon which will promote better cross-group, cross-culture understanding and respect. When we do so, we need to ensure that everyone is included. No individuals or groups should feel being ignored, marginalized, discriminated against and/or oppressed.
I want to make a motion:
The Howard County Board of Education denounces any bias and racism towards African American, Asian American, Latino American, Muslim American, LGBT community, and any other groups who have been ignored, marginalized, discriminated against and/or oppressed.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to report the per pupil expenditures of federal, state, and local funds including actual personnel expenditures and actual non personnel expenditures. The HCPSS finance office followed MSDE’s methodology to develop the school level per-pupil expenditure data that is being reported. All districts across the state followed the same methodology.
Expenditures are separated into:
School-level per-pupil expenditures: local school system operating expenditures directly attributed to schools or allocated to schools based on certain criteria and reported as a per-pupil or per-student amount.
District wide costs: expenditures that are not directly linked to a school.
Regional programs, the experience level of staff at the school, and Title I funding contribute to the differences in the per-pupil funding between schools.
Expenditures for students in nonpublic placements, pre-kindergarten, and infants and toddlers programs, are excluded from this per-pupil reporting.
|School Name||State/Local Amount||Federal Amount||Total Amount|
|Cedar Lane Special Center||$ 95,663.00||$ 2,417.00||$ 98,080.00|
|Homewood School||$ 72,023.00||$ 1,499.00||$ 73,523.00|
|Wilde Lake High||$ 15,994.00||$ 530.00||$ 16,524.00|
|Oakland Mills High||$ 15,718.00||$ 566.00||$ 16,283.00|
|Hammond High||$ 14,990.00||$ 517.00||$ 15,507.00|
|Long Reach High||$ 14,946.00||$ 486.00||$ 15,432.00|
|Reservoir High||$ 13,883.00||$ 471.00||$ 14,354.00|
|Glenelg High||$ 13,838.00||$ 413.00||$ 14,251.00|
|Atholton High||$ 13,659.00||$ 436.00||$ 14,095.00|
|Mount Hebron High||$ 13,367.00||$ 418.00||$ 13,785.00|
|Howard High||$ 13,079.00||$ 452.00||$ 13,531.00|
|River Hill High||$ 13,048.00||$ 416.00||$ 13,464.00|
|Marriotts Ridge High||$ 12,851.00||$ 384.00||$ 13,235.00|
|Centennial High||$ 12,715.00||$ 407.00||$ 13,121.00|
|Harpers Choice Middle||$ 17,743.00||$ 525.00||$ 18,269.00|
|Oakland Mills Middle||$ 16,385.00||$ 604.00||$ 16,989.00|
|Wilde Lake Middle||$ 15,486.00||$ 502.00||$ 15,988.00|
|Lake Elkhorn Middle||$ 15,404.00||$ 463.00||$ 15,867.00|
|Mayfield Woods Middle||$ 14,794.00||$ 467.00||$ 15,262.00|
|Glenwood Middle||$ 14,538.00||$ 441.00||$ 14,979.00|
|Patuxent Valley Middle||$ 14,277.00||$ 435.00||$ 14,711.00|
|Thomas Viaduct Middle||$ 14,133.00||$ 490.00||$ 14,623.00|
|Murray Hill Middle||$ 14,099.00||$ 456.00||$ 14,555.00|
|Elkridge Landing Middle||$ 13,682.00||$ 449.00||$ 14,131.00|
|Dunloggin Middle||$ 13,629.00||$ 424.00||$ 14,053.00|
|Bonnie Branch Middle||$ 13,607.00||$ 436.00||$ 14,044.00|
|Lime Kiln Middle||$ 13,580.00||$ 409.00||$ 13,989.00|
|Folly Quarter Middle||$ 13,392.00||$ 437.00||$ 13,829.00|
|Hammond Middle School||$ 13,346.00||$ 382.00||$ 13,728.00|
|Clarksville Middle||$ 12,829.00||$ 338.00||$ 13,167.00|
|Ellicott Mills Middle||$ 12,641.00||$ 414.00||$ 13,055.00|
|Patapsco Middle||$ 12,157.00||$ 355.00||$ 12,513.00|
|Burleigh Manor Middle School||$ 11,840.00||$ 362.00||$ 12,202.00|
|Mount View Middle||$ 11,610.00||$ 364.00||$ 11,974.00|
|Stevens Forest Elementary||$ 17,241.00||$ 1,235.00||$ 18,476.00|
|Guilford Elementary||$ 16,902.00||$ 1,106.00||$ 18,008.00|
|Cradlerock Elementary||$ 16,569.00||$ 1,294.00||$ 17,863.00|
|Running Brook Elementary||$ 16,593.00||$ 1,226.00||$ 17,819.00|
|Longfellow Elementary||$ 16,371.00||$ 1,176.00||$ 17,547.00|
|Bryant Woods Elementary||$ 16,245.00||$ 1,188.00||$ 17,433.00|
|Phelps Luck Elementary||$ 16,140.00||$ 1,204.00||$ 17,344.00|
|Talbott Springs Elementary||$ 15,838.00||$ 1,202.00||$ 17,041.00|
|Ducketts Lane Elementary||$ 15,509.00||$ 1,145.00||$ 16,653.00|
|Deep Run Elementary||$ 15,470.00||$ 1,154.00||$ 16,624.00|
|Waterloo Elementary||$ 15,901.00||$ 520.00||$ 16,420.00|
|Dayton Oaks Elementary||$ 15,404.00||$ 466.00||$ 15,870.00|
|Laurel Woods Elementary||$ 14,399.00||$ 1,136.00||$ 15,536.00|
|Swansfield Elementary||$ 14,350.00||$ 1,139.00||$ 15,489.00|
|Clarksville Elementary||$ 14,916.00||$ 507.00||$ 15,423.00|
|Lisbon Elementary||$ 14,730.00||$ 499.00||$ 15,229.00|
|Bollman Bridge Elementary||$ 14,132.00||$ 1,076.00||$ 15,208.00|
|Bushy Park Elementary||$ 14,595.00||$ 416.00||$ 15,011.00|
|Jeffers Hill Elementary||$ 14,560.00||$ 444.00||$ 15,003.00|
|Rockburn Elementary||$ 14,485.00||$ 477.00||$ 14,963.00|
|Thunder Hill Elementary||$ 14,320.00||$ 494.00||$ 14,815.00|
|Bellows Spring Elementary||$ 13,669.00||$ 481.00||$ 14,151.00|
|Hanover Hills Elementary||$ 13,605.00||$ 488.00||$ 14,093.00|
|Atholton Elementary||$ 13,588.00||$ 456.00||$ 14,044.00|
|West Friendship Elementary||$ 13,543.00||$ 409.00||$ 13,952.00|
|Ilchester Elementary||$ 13,487.00||$ 451.00||$ 13,938.00|
|Worthington Elementary||$ 13,065.00||$ 394.00||$ 13,459.00|
|Veterans Elementary||$ 13,003.00||$ 429.00||$ 13,431.00|
|Triadelphia Ridge Elementary||$ 12,959.00||$ 457.00||$ 13,417.00|
|Waverly Elementary||$ 12,968.00||$ 404.00||$ 13,371.00|
|Clemens Crossing Elementary||$ 12,925.00||$ 364.00||$ 13,289.00|
|Manor Woods Elementary||$ 12,491.00||$ 426.00||$ 12,917.00|
|Elkridge Elementary||$ 12,331.00||$ 469.00||$ 12,800.00|
|Hollifield Station Elementary||$ 12,313.00||$ 397.00||$ 12,710.00|
|Hammond Elementary||$ 12,196.00||$ 464.00||$ 12,660.00|
|Forest Ridge Elementary||$ 12,226.00||$ 426.00||$ 12,652.00|
|Pointers Run Elementary||$ 11,951.00||$ 413.00||$ 12,364.00|
|Gorman Crossing Elementary||$ 11,640.00||$ 405.00||$ 12,045.00|
|Northfield Elementary||$ 11,416.00||$ 407.00||$ 11,822.00|
|Centennial Lane Elementary||$ 11,328.00||$ 372.00||$ 11,700.00|
|Fulton Elementary||$ 11,294.00||$ 401.00||$ 11,696.00|
|St. Johns Lane Elementary||$ 11,009.00||$ 382.00||$ 11,391.00|
There are very large variations on per-student spending between schools. Cedar Lane Special Center and Homework School are two different schools which rank the highest spending. Then
Here is the spreadsheet.
There are many unknown factors and the school system is working to have a plan. Here are some concerns I shared with the staff.
Here is the PowerPoint slide.
The plan is actively under development and will change over the time.
2020 HoCo BOE primary election result is out. We have the following candidates advancing to the November general election. In each council district, we will elect one BOE member.
The BOE received a student petition on addressing some racist events in the school. Victoria Owens, Glenelg High School, Class of 2015, is leading the campaign. Glenelg High School unfortunately has been on the newspaper front page for several racist incidents.
I highly encourage your read our students’ school experience and share your idea on how to change and improve the school climate in HCPSS. Some of the experiences are heart-broken. However, only when we are able to face the reality calmly and do self-reflecting and soul-searching, we are able to move forward.
I agree that HCPSS should include a more diverse curriculum to help our students expand their learning horizon worldwide which will promote better cross-culture understanding and respect, reduce racial bias during the hiring process to increase workforce diversity and leadership diversity, and increase culture proficiency training.
Here is the 105-page petition.
Here is the presentation from the County Government, talking about three phases of APFO history, how housing units have been allocated by different regions, how the general plan is playing a role in it. We are going to have a new Howard County General Plan very soon.
I hope this new Howard County General Plan will balance growth, affordable housing, school capacity, infrastructure and sustainability much better. The county has very few land left (9%) for new development. Revitalization of some old village centers are as important as developing on new land.
Here is the presentation for your reference.
I spent some time tonight and examined 2020 Howard County Operating Budget, including HCPSS, Howard Community College and others. Only HCPSS and HCC have a separate budget. Others are inside the county budget book. I would encourage our residents spending some time to read them. It will help us where to advocate and how to advocate. For example, maybe the county can have a different funding priority considering the problem HCPSS is facing now. Many parents come to Howard County for education and we should not let them lose faith in HCPSS.
Howard County hired Urban Analytics to calculate the potential fiscal impact on the 2019 APFO amendment.
New development in Howard County “pays for itself” and generates net surplus to the County
• Amended APFO results in a net loss to Howard County compared to the General Plan scenario; in other words, bring
less net gains to the County
• Land use decisions by policy makers have consequential short and long term economic and fiscal implications to the
Here is the presentation you can download.
Today I attended 2016 Howard County Chinese School graduation at Marriotts Ridge high school. It took 320 weekends to sit in the classroom and learn something new for these young kids. It is more than ten years dedication from our kids, while others may play football, or watch movies.
I am so proud of them. I find their Chinese is better than last year’s graduates. I wish these thirty kids will remember today’s moment, their friends around, and their HoCo Chinese school time. I believe their perseverance learned during the years will be part of their life for future success.
I also helped to count the ballot for the board of director election. I am so excited that we have so many candidates who are willing to serve our community.
My daughter graduated from the kindergarten and will go into first year soon. I took a semester’s Yoga class which really helped me to reduce my back pain.
After I joined the Howard County Runner group, I have always been motivated to keep my self fit and healthy. This Saturday’s Maryland Half Marathon at Maple Lawn was both a fundraiser event and my first major run. My time is 31 minutes 21 seconds.
By running with a group of people, we build a small dedicated community. We are running for fun, for healthy body and for energetic mind. It is not how fast we run. It is how much we enjoy overcoming difficulty and moving forward.
In my one-hour time slot, we registered five new voters.
We are hoping we will have a stronger voice in our local elections. CAPA will provide a platform for our parents to voice their opinions in this Board of Education election.
If we want change, let’s start with ourselves. If we believe in something, let’s act on it. Don’t rely on others’ good will or wait for your turn. As our logo says “Informed, involved and empowered”, we just need push ourselves to the negotiation table of election.
Votes and get out to vote. That really matters. To vote in a group can amplify our voice greatly.
We are going to expand our efforts to four Chinese language schools, grocery stores, and other facilities for the coming months before the primary election.
How do you like our poster?
It takes less than three minutes.
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Maryland will be implementing “Same Day Voter Registration” during early voting for the 2016 Presidential Primary and General elections. More information will be posted when it becomes available.
You may register to vote any time voter registration is open. Registration closes beginning at 9:00 pm on the 21st day preceding an election and remains closed until the 11th day after the election.
Generally, any voter registration application received when registration is closed will be held by the election office and processed when registration re-opens. Your registration will not become effective and you will not be eligible to vote until registration re-opens and you have received your Voter Notification Card (VNC).
As long as you remain a resident of the county and keep your address current with the election office, your voter registration in Maryland is permanent.
Talking points tonight are:
1: USPS will build a new post office in Clarksville. The project is approved already. There will be 30 days appealing time and move forward for a solution, i.e, look for a location.
2: a place with 5000 square feet, 40 parking lots, full operation , not just a small counter.
3: the old post office location,3000 square feet, is too small.
4: site review committee to make recommendation.
5: luck stone site was discussed.
6: probably the new post office will be operational in one year.
Please share your thoughts with Richard Hancok, Real Estate Specialist for USPS at: United States Postal Service, Facilities Service Office, P.O. Box 27497, Greensboro, NC 27498-1103; email@example.com. Written testimony will be accepted until Tuesday, March 1.