How is funding for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future determined?

While State funding will continue to increase each year to meet their Blueprint related requirements, County funding is not subject to the same requirement. Counties are only required to provide funding in an amount equal to or greater than its prior year per-pupil funding. This is called Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

The Howard County Government currently provides HCPSS with a higher MOE than what is required and there is no legislation that mandates Howard County’s funding increase further to support Blueprint implementation. Any increases in County funding to support the Blueprint are subject to the County Executive and County Council funding an above MOE request. 

In addition, per-pupil funding amounts are based on the prior year’s enrollment numbers and spaces, often creating a lag in funding versus the reality of the current year. As HCPSS begins to implement and expand Blueprint programs such as National Board Certification, Career and College Readiness, and Pre-Kindergarten, costs for the programs will increase, but the funding level from the State may not match the pace of growth. Any declines in student enrollment will also impact future funding. 

In tight budget years, the lack of available funding may cause programs to shrink to meet budgetary constraints while still meeting Blueprint requirements and HCPSS will be in a position of having to balance the mandates of the Blueprint while continuing to fund existing programs and services within the constraints of the budget.