Why did the Superintendent propose a budget below the amount that HCPSS needs to fully fund all its mandates, commitments and priorities while maintaining all current programs and positions?

The Howard County Government already funds HCPSS above the required Maintenance of Effort and has for many years. As such, it is unrealistic to expect the County to fully fund the $103.8 million gap faced by the school system.

In years past, the budget put forth by the Superintendent and the Board of Education included a large ask of the County. When the County approved budget amounts in May and provided a lower amount of funding than was requested by the Board, the Board would then have to make budget reductions towards the end of the process to align with available funding.

This year, the process changed based on feedback from the Board of Education and County partners. The Superintendent’s FY 2025 Proposed Operating Budget takes into account a more realistic revenue assumption from the County and current revenue information available to us, including approximate State Aid figures and fund balance.

This year’s process also included proposing reductions at the beginning of the budget process to bring forth a balanced budget rather than at the end to avoid staff from being blindsided at the end of the process. 

The information contained in this answer relates to the Superintendent’s FY 2025 Proposed Operating Budget, which was published on Jan. 18, 2024. The information is subject to change with the initial Board of Education Adopted Operating Budget on Feb. 29, 2024, the County Council Adopted Budget in May 2024, and the final Board of Education Operating Budget on May 23, 2024. View the full FY 2025 Operating Budget timeline and versions of each budget as they become available.