Why is the school system in such a difficult fiscal position?

The FY 2024 Operating Budget used a large amount of one-time funds to balance the budget and pay for services that have recurring costs. These one-time funds included using a large amount of fund balance, transferring money from the technology fund, investment income and payments received from the Juul lawsuit.

The use of these one-time funds to pay for recurring costs means that going into the FY 2025 budget, HCPSS has $32.1 million less in revenue to pay for the costs of existing services that are already budgeted. The deficit is compounded by $71.7 million of increased expenditures necessary for mandates and priorities. Combined, this produces a $103.8 million gap that must be overcome to balance the budget.

Chart illustrating the budget gap of 103.8 million dollars

*The graphic above is from the January 18, 2024 presentation of the Superintendent's FY 2025 Proposed Operating Budget

To balance the budget, the proposed budget includes making a request of the County for $47 million above Maintenance of Effort (MOE), using $10.2 million in anticipated available fund balance and making $46.6 million in budget cuts to existing non-mandated services, including a reduction of 347.85 existing positions.  

HCPSS leadership used the $47 million above MOE as a marker during budget development as that is the same increase HCPSS received over the FY 2023 budget.

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.