The start of each calendar year is an important milestone in the annual budget process—a time for us to translate our priorities and data-driven plans into a proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2018.
This year, Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance has presented to the Baltimore County Board of Education a proposed total Baltimore County Public Schools budget for FY 18 of $1.99 billion. Of that, $1.59 billion is the operating budget.
How we spend these funds will have an enduring impact on our students and community.
The superintendent’s proposal has been shaped by listening to and learning from students, parents, community members, and staff about what matters and how to best target scarce resources.
Student enrollment in BCPS has grown 6.5 percent during the past five years. We expect our student population to grow by more than 6,000 students during the next decade. Some of our student populations who require the most intensive supports are growing faster than the total student enrollment including students with severe disabilities and English language learners. To support this growth and close the resource gap, the FY 18 budget proposal includes additional instructional positions and adds significant resources for students with disabilities and those learning English.
Our commitment to students extends to ensuring that every student graduates globally competitive and ready for tomorrow’s careers. To raise the bar and close gaps, we are requesting funding to support dynamic instructional resources; Passport world language instruction at more elementary schools; and innovative options including magnet programs.
Finally, to invest in our future, we propose to continue investing the majority of our funds in our people through employee salaries and benefits, as well as digital learning through S.T.A.T. and upgrades to technology and building maintenance.
The funds required to offer a high-quality, equitable education to more than 112,000 diverse students are considerable, but investing these funds is essential—to their future and to ours.