Howard County schools superintendent Renee Foose revealed her fiscal 2018 operating budget proposal Tuesday night, an $868.9 million budget request that tops last year’s request by $30.2 million.
Last year’s approved operating budget totaled $808.4 million.
According to The Baltimore Sun,
In her latest proposal, which Foose shared with the Board of Education Tuesday night, the superintendent suggests the county provide $622.6 million, while state and other revenue sources were budgeted to be $238.7 million and $7.6 million, respectively.
The school system’s 2017 approved operating budget included $562.2 million from the county, $235.1 million from the state and $11 million from other funding.
Instruction and teaching materials garnered 80 percent of the proposed budget, Foose said, with 11 percent for operations and maintenance, 5 percent for transportation and 4 percent for central office.
“This budget proposal is designed to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly diverse student population, while maintaining high standards for teaching and learning in all Howard County public schools,” Foose said during her presentation.
Her proposal reflects an expected enrollment growth of 1,860 students in fiscal 2018, with an expected total of 1,300 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten next year.
To address enrollment growth, Foose’s proposed budget adds 123.9 new positions, which are not included in the maintenance of effort funding requirements, or the minimum amount of funding the county must provide its school system under state law.
Foose said the budget also incorporated $22.3 million for salary increases, employee benefits funding of $36.2 million and special education services funding of $400,000.
An online community forum on the proposed 2018 operating budget is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and a public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
The board plans to adopt its budget request on Feb. 2.