Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and all five members of the Howard County Council jointly announced $5 million in additional county funding for the Howard County Public School System Operating Budget, bringing the increase in county funding above the Maintenance of Effort standard to a record $45 million.
Combined with $10.75 million in additional HCPSS reserves that can be used in this year’s budget, nearly $16 million will be added to the HCPSS budget proposal for recurring purposes.
Between the amended budget proposal and any additional HCPSS spend from reserves, it is expected that 288 new positions will be created in much-needed educational areas in the Fiscal Year 2023 Operating Budget.
Ball and Councilmembers said they intend for the revised budget to support:
● More than 150 new positions in special education;
● Nearly 80 positions for pre-kindergarten (which include more than 35 pre-kindergarten positions for special education);
● 26 positions for college and career readiness (which include 23 positions to target loss of learning in reading and math);
● 19 positions for behavioral health and student well-being (including an LGBTQIA+ specialist and Hispanic achievement liaisons);
● And 14 positions to support the opening of new high school 13, which when opened will be the county’s first new high school since 2005.
The overall proposed school system budget for fiscal 2023 would be $1.026 billion, which remains the highest amount ever and the first HCPSS operating budget to exceed $1 billion. If approved, this additional funding will increase the proposed budget to $45 million above Maintenance of Effort, marking the largest increase above MOE in county history by at least $15 million.
The increase would bring county funding above MOE during the last four years to $62.8 million, well more than triple the increase from the previous four-year period. Recurring county and state funding for HCPSS increases by nearly $84 million, also the largest increase in HCPSS history.