Release Date: 1/10/2018
Contact: Office of Communications, 443.809.5908

Baltimore County schools budget invests in "people for our people" to prepare students for success

TOWSON, MD — Baltimore County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Verletta White proposed a $1.65 billion operating budget for the 2018-2019 school year to the Board of Education of Baltimore County at tonight's meeting. The adjusted operating budget for 2017-2018 was $1.56 billion.

BCPS leaders shaped the budget through conversations with BCPS educators, parents, students, and community members, including 65 school visits, five public Learning and Listening sessions, and meetings with advisory groups, school and office staff, and elected officials.

"More families continue to choose our schools, and as we grow, we have to provide people for our people," said White. "The truth is, today’s students need to graduate with not only a high school diploma, but also a resume, in order to be prepared for the increasing demands of college and career. That preparation requires the guidance of qualified staff who are well supported."

The BCPS student enrollment topped 113,000 students in fall 2017, representing nine consecutive years of growth. The fastest growing student groups are English learners and students with severe disabilities, and 45 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

To prepare every student for future success, White proposed four focus areas: special education and English learners; growth and infrastructure; literacy across the subject areas; and school climate.

The budget responds to concerns raised by community groups by continuing to increase staffing for special education and English learners.

Most of the growth and infrastructure portion of the budget is comprised of increased compensation and benefits in alignment with negotiated bargaining agreements, as well as instructional, transportation, facilities, and maintenance staffing and support to accommodate enrollment growth.

White plans to strengthen literacy across the subject areas by expanding Prekindergarten, the Passport elementary second language program, magnet programs, and college readiness. Additional supports for literacy include more staffing for gifted and talented and eLearning, eLearning software, and instructional materials and resources.

The focus on school climate is primarily supported by increased staffing and resources for social-emotional learning including more school counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

The community is invited to a public hearing on the operating budget on January 16, 2018, in Building E on the BCPS Greenwood campus. Snow dates and more information are available.

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