Message From the Superintendent: FY21 Proposed Operating Budget
January 15th, 2020
Dear HCPSS Community:
Last Thursday I presented to the Board of Education my proposed Operating Budget for the 2020–2021 school year (FY 2021). The Board began its deliberation on the budget yesterday, holding the first of its six Work Sessions.
My budget proposal totals $964.1 million and provides for 58.4 new staff members to serve enrollment growth of 773 students for general education while maintaining class sizes within target ratios. It includes funding for negotiated salary increases and provides for 216.8 additional special education positions to address severe understaffing in special education. It demonstrates fiscal responsibility and our effort to realign and reallocate existing resources to advance critical needs in a budget neutral manner – including accelerating our diversity, equity and inclusion work, improving data security, and upgrading our failing telephone system. It includes funding to fully fund projected employee and retiree health insurance costs and reduce the Health Fund deficit, with a plan for its elimination over the next two fiscal years.
Our strategy in preparing our Operating Budget is developed in alignment with our Capital Budget, the Boundary Adjustment process and Health Fund deficit elimination, because these four components work together to enable us to fulfill the vision and goals for equity outlined in our Strategic Call to Action. Our recent redistricting process has moved us forward in balancing student needs among schools; Capital planning gives us the tools for providing an equitable learning environment; and by eliminating the deficit in our Health Fund, we will open resources in our Operating Budget that we may then apply to improving instruction and student supports.
I encourage you to visit our FY 2021 Budget webpage, where you can find my budget proposal and all related documents, overviews of the process and the Health Fund deficit, and a timeline and opportunities for public input.
Once the Board has completed its deliberation, the Board’s requested budget will be submitted to the County Executive. The County Executive will then submit his budget proposal to the County Council, which will hold a series of public hearings and work sessions, culminating with a final decision in late May 2020. The public will have several opportunities to provide feedback to the Board of Education, the County Executive, and the County Council. A list of dates for these public hearings as well as all public work sessions is provided on the HCPSS FY 2021 Budget webpage.
Thank you for your collaboration in helping to ensure that every Howard County student has a bright and prosperous future.
Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D.