skip to main content


HCPSS Acting Superintendent Presents 2024-2025 Operating Budget Proposal

January 19th, 2024

Howard County Public School System Acting Superintendent William J. Barnes presented his proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 (FY 2025) to the Board of Education on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024.

The FY 2025 budget proposal totals $1.13 billion, representing an increase of $25 million, or 2.3% over FY 2024. The proposed budget seeks to balance a $103 million dollar gap stemming from a $32.1 million deficit from previously utilized one-time funds and $71.7 million in mandated and priority expenditures in addition to adding 132.3 new positions.

The $71.7 million in new costs are tied to legal mandates of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation; contractual commitments to support existing obligations such as prior negotiated pay and benefits; and priorities that support existing policies along with defined goals and objectives. Of the 132.3 new positions, 55.6 are tied primarily to prekindergarten expansion requirements related to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future that increases participation for eligible 4-year-old children from low-income families. The majority of the remaining positions (55) are added in Special Education to ensure students receive the legally mandated services they deserve and require.

The proposed budget is based on a $47 million above Maintenance of Effort request of the Howard County Government, the use of $10.2 million in anticipated available fund balance and $46.6 million in budget cuts to existing non-mandated services, including a reduction of 347.85 existing positions.

“This year’s budget process has been very different than past years,” stated Barnes. “We have listened and responded to the feedback of our Board and County partners and are doing the work now that we have historically done in May. We know the shift in process is extremely difficult and unnerving for hundreds of staff who are currently learning that their positions are being proposed to be eliminated. The recommendations contained in this budget characterize our collaborative and strategic work over the past several months to balance the budget based on revenue assumptions and current information available to us. The proposed budget represents only one budget balancing scenario and I look forward to collaborating with the Board to address our structural deficit.”

The full Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2025 Operating Budget, along with a budget timeline is available online. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Members of the public who wish to testify at the public hearing can register by telephone (410-313-7194 or 410-313-1584) or via online form. All comments, questions and feedback, including written testimony about the budget can be submitted to

Budget Additions

Highlights of this budget’s investments include:

Mandates – $8.9 million and 55.60 new positions are added to meet cost increases to continue implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

Commitments – $22.7 million and 2.00 new positions are being added to address funding commitments

Priorities – the budget adds $40.2 million and 74.70 new positions to advance priority needs

Budget Reductions

To help offset some of the cost increases for the budget additions and to put forward a county funding request that is consistent with last year’s new funding amount of $47 million, the budget includes $(46.6) million in budget reductions to existing services and (347.85) in reductions to existing positions. These reductions have been grouped into two major groupings:

Programmatic School-Based reductions total $(24.6) million and (245.80) existing positions. Each division summary in the budget book provides detailed information about the reductions. Highlights of reductions include:

Programmatic Non-School-Based reductions total about $(22.0) million and (102.05) positions. Each division summary in the budget book provides detailed information about the reductions. A summary of these reductions by divisional areas include:

A summary schedule of these budget changes by grouping and full-time equivalent (FTE) change in positions is provided below.

screenshot of Summary of FY25 Operating Budget Changes
screenshot of Summary of FY25 Operating Budget Changes, cont'd