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Release Date: 1/9/2019
Contact: Brandon Oland, 443.809.5908

Interim Superintendent’s proposed FY 2020 operating budget features continued focus on additional staffing, emphasis on growth, transportation, climate, safety

Includes shift in use of instructional technology for youngest learners

Towson, MD —The proposed $1.75 billion FY 2020 operating budget for Baltimore County Public Schools reflects Interim Superintendent Verletta White’s continued emphasis on increased staffing – “People for our People” – especially to support students receiving special education services and students who are English learners -- and to enhance literacy and mathematics instruction.

White presented her budget proposal to the Board of Education of Baltimore County at its Jan. 8 meeting.

“As an educator, you never stop looking for the best ways to nurture academic growth and well-being for every young person in your care,” White said. “You are never satisfied. It is my pleasure and my responsibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise for Baltimore County Public Schools.”

The budget calls for adding 87 special educators and 21 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers to serve the district’s fastest growing student subgroups. White noted that the school system’s ESOL population has grown 130% over the past 10 years, 12% over the past year, and by 145 students over just the past two months. In addition, compared to five years ago, BCPS now serves 27.8% more students with autism, 46.1% more students who are developmentally delayed, and 50.1% more students with multiple disabilities.

One instructional change described in the budget is a shift in the use of instructional technology for elementary students. The new plan shifts to the use of Chromebooks for elementary students. There will also be a shift in the student-to-device ratio at the primary level from 1:1 to 2:1 in Grades K-2, to focus on foundational skills in the early grades.

“Offering 2:1 devices in Grades K-2 reinforces the social interaction and small group literacy instruction that our curriculum prioritizes for our youngest learners,” White said. “At the same time, we decrease screen time for some students in primary grades, in keeping with the latest recommendations from the School Health Council.”

Chromebooks now demonstrate student privacy and security at levels that meet stringent BCPS standards, as a result of the international General Data Privacy Regulation. The significant cost savings BCPS would realize from purchasing Chromebooks for students in Grades K-2 (instead of leasing devices) will help boost school budgets.

The budget includes targeted funding to enhance literacy and mathematics by providing support for PreKindergarten, second language acquisition, gifted and talented, science, middle and high school transitions, magnet programs, and college and career readiness. Growth and infrastructure would be addressed with increased compensation and staffing. Transportation services will be strengthened with additional staffing and capacity. The budget supports climate and safety with 49 additional counseling/psychology, social worker/health positions, and by increasing resources related to student behavior, discipline, and climate.

“Our annual budget,” White said, “not only represents the needs expressed by our community, it also clearly moves us forward to support high-quality daily instruction. We are a learning organization, and we will continue to consider adjustments that serve our goals of equity and access for every one of our nearly 114,000 students. I look forward to continued public involvement in the budget process through the board’s public hearing on Tuesday, January 15, and the work session on Tuesday, January 22.”

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Baltimore County Public Schools
6901 Charles Street
Towson, Maryland 21204
443-809-4554

Report Fraud, Waste, or Abuse

Verletta White
Interim Superintendent

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©2019 Baltimore County Public Schools. All rights reserved.