Harford Board of Education Looks to Tackle School Staffing Challenges in Proposed Budget, Asks for Additional Funding

On January 10, the Harford County Board of Education started deliberating its fiscal year 2023 budget, putting financial incentives for hiring and retain school staff front-and-center. The Board has proposed requesting additional county and State funds to do so.

The Board has proposed an operating budget of $568.7 million for fiscal year ’23, up $49.1 million or 9.5% from last year. Notably, mandatory budget increases of $46.7 million will add about 105 full-time school positions. This includes a $30.4 million wage package for school staff, up 280% from last year’s proposed $8 million, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Additionally, the proposed budget includes hiring an assistant principal position at every county public elementary school at a cost of $140,781 per hire. The move comes after the position was eliminated at all but two county elementary schools a few years ago.

In order to fulfill its proposed budget, the Board of Education is seeking additional county and State funding:
  • $324.2 million would be requested from the  county – $30.4 million more than last year, or a 10.4% increase.
  • $235.2 million would be requested from the State, a 7.8% increase from last year’s proposal.

County Superintendent Sean Bulson’s transmittal letter provides an overview of the proposed budget:

The Superintendent’s Proposed fiscal year 2023 local request to support the unrestricted budget is $324.2 million, an increase of $30.4 million. The total proposed increase to the unrestricted budget is $49.2 million, or 9.5% higher than the current budget. The proposed budget includes $2.5 million to provide additional support to our eight priority schools. A salary and wage package is included and expected to cost $30.4 million. Transportation needs are expected to increase $3.8 million. The unrestricted budget proposal also includes an additional 138.2 FTE positions. 69.6 FTE of the total request are included to move staff from grant funding to the operating budget. The proposed budget supports a new Special Education STRIVE program at Abingdon Elementary School, a Classroom Support Program at Church Creek Elementary School and an Early Learners/Learning Together Program at Meadowvale Elementary.

The fiscal 2023 proposed Unrestricted Operating, Restricted, Food Service and Capital budgets are $568.8 million, $39.4 million, $19.2 million, and $96.2 million, respectively.

The board will vote on the proposed budget Feb. 14. The budget is due to the county March 1.

Read the full Baltimore Sun article.

Access the full budget proposal from the Harford County Board of Education.