HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano has presented his proposed operating budget for the Howard County Public School System fiscal year 2022-23 during a presentation to the Board of Education. The board will now hold a series of public hearings and work sessions before submitting the requested budget to the county executive by the beginning of March 2022.
The superintendent’s budget proposal requests the funding needed to sustain and strengthen educational, behavioral health and well-being supports in response to student needs that have increased due to the pandemic. The proposal also establishes the framework of funding necessary to implement the requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which will be phased in during the next 10 years. The budget also includes the addition of staff and resources needed to open the county’s 13th high school in fall 2023.
The fiscal 2023 budget proposal totals $1.07 billion, representing an expenditure increase of $112.5 million (or 11.7 percent). If advanced by the Board of Education, the request to the county for funding of $748.3 million represents a $119.9 million increase in recurring funds, or a 19.1 percent increase from fiscal 2022. State funding totals $303.3 million, an increase of $20.9 million or 7.4 percent.
The budget proposal advances resources and new staff positions necessary to prepare HCPSS to meet students’ increased needs for academic and behavioral supports, special education and health services; to sustain the technological infrastructure built up during the last two years that has become integral to the classroom and HCPSS operations; and to maintain school buildings to sustain a healthy in-person learning environment. The proposal includes:
- $6.4 million and 65 new staff positions to shore up critical areas in health and well-being services and instructional support
- $7 million and 144 positions to further address critical shortages in special education staffing, to build on the system’s record growth advanced for special education over the last several budget years
- $26.8 million for technology, including 15 new positions, student devices, classroom technology, specialized instructional technology, networking and security
- $4.6 million and 42 positions to sustain enhanced air filtration measures and increased maintenance and cleaning of schools
- $5.2 million and 4 positions for student bus services that have been significantly disrupted during the pandemic
The superintendent’s fiscal 2023 budget proposal includes $34.3 million and 199 new staff positions to fulfill provisions of the Blueprint that must be implemented during fiscal 2023 and to position HCPSS to continue implementing Blueprint deadlines that phase in over multiple fiscal years. The proposal includes:
- $12.3 million to increase teacher compensation
- $7.1 million and 143.2 positions to begin the expansion to full-day prekindergarten for 3 and 4 year olds
- $4.7 million and 40 positions to support college and career readiness efforts and expand dual enrollment participation
- $3.7 million in compensation for teachers achieving the professional distinction of National Board Certification (NBC)
- $2.1 million and 15 positions to build organizational capacity to meet Blueprint governance, accountability and reporting requirements
The superintendent’s budget proposal is posted at www.hcpss.org/about-us/budgets/fy23/#sup.