Calvert County Commissioners Approve Public Schools Funding Plan

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday approved a four-year public schools funding formula that will provide education appropriations of nearly $121 million in fiscal year (FY) 2018.

According to a press release,

The funding formula will be used to determine the amount of annual county appropriations to Calvert County Public Schools from FY 2018 through FY 2021. The measure must also be approved by the Calvert County Board of Education at its May 11 meeting before taking effect.

Three factors are included in the education funding formula. Starting with the prior year’s appropriations, funding will be based on 1) student enrollment increases; 2) changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI); and 3) an additional adjustment factor of 1 percent. A decline in student enrollment will not decrease funding and the CPI factor is capped at 3.5 percent.

The funding agreement has a new school adjustment to provide for up to $1 million in additional funds to offset operating costs for new schools. It also specifies that any unassigned public schools fund balance, or savings, in excess of $5 million will be contributed to the school system’s Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust fund. OPEB are benefits, other than pensions – such as health insurance – that employees receive as part of retirement benefits.

“We believe this is a generous funding formula that provides stability and predictability for county education appropriations,” said BOCC President Tom Hejl. “It will help ensure our school system remains among the top systems in Maryland.”

Additional one-time allocations for the next two fiscal years are included in the funding agreement. FY 2018 funding will include a $500,000 allocation and FY 2019 will include a $2 million allocation, each of which will be offset by reducing contributions for OPEB by the same amounts.

Public schools funding formula agreements have been a part of the county budget process since FY 2006. The last such agreement expired at the end of the 2012 fiscal year. The BOCC approved the FY 2018-2021education funding formula as part of the FY 2018 county budget process. The Commissioners’ Budget will be presented during a public hearing May 23 at 7 p.m. at Calvert Pines Senior Center in Prince Frederick.

Read the full press release for more information.