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Executive Kittleman submits amendments for schools and bus stop improvements in FY18 budgets

Funding to HCPSS ensures restoration of 87 para-educator positions, supports special education, funds negotiated salary increases and avoids furloughs.

May 19, 2017

Media Contact:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, 410-313-2022
Holly Sun, Budget Administrator at 410-313-3190

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Allan H. Kittleman submitted proposed budget amendments this week for school system and bus stop improvements in the Fiscal Year 2018 Operating and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budgets.

The proposed amendments come as a result of conversations with the Board of Education (BOE) and Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), as well as input from the County Council.

“After speaking with the school board, superintendent and Council members, we determined these amendments were needed to achieve our mutual goals,” said Kittleman. “The tremendous cooperation we’ve had from all parties has made this process go very smoothly. I am particularly pleased that the school system will be able to replace the aging Talbott Springs Elementary School instead of renovating it.”

The proposed amendments include:

Capital Budget – Office of Transportation

  • Increase funds for bus stop improvements by $250,000 to install concrete pads at more bus stops and make additional improvements at existing bus shelters. The County will install approximately 60 concrete waiting pads at bus stops that are currently on grass or dirt. These pads will be accessible and connect to the nearest sidewalk wherever possible. Improvements to bus shelters will include painting, panel replacements, repairs to benches, access improvements, signage, and trash receptacles. The $250,000 is in addition to approximately $750,000 in available funding (including prior year unspent balances) for bus stop shelter, pad and signage improvements slated for completion in FY 2018.

Capital Budget – HCPSS

  • Increase to school system systemic renovation project and reallocation to advance the replacement of Talbott Springs Elementary School with a new facility, instead of renovations to the current facility.
    • $6.2 million increase to systemic renovation project to match final state aid, making total state aid to all school CIP projects $21.1 million in FY 2018 and total HCPSS FY 2018 CIP budget $65.3 million.
    • $1 million reallocation from the New High School #13 project to the Talbott Springs Elementary School replacement project.

Operating Budget – HCPSS General Fund

  • Increase of $627,030, making the county’s total appropriation to HCPSS $572.9 million and its total General Fund budget $819.1 million. This includes:
    • $270,470 to avoid furloughs, requested by the acting superintendent. Funding comes from reductions to multiple county agencies, including Police, Administration, Finance, Public Works and non-departmental expenditures. These agencies identified savings in non-critical areas that will not compromise service delivery.
    • $356,650 one-time contribution to help cover the FY 2018 cost of a separation agreement between the previous HCPSS superintendent and the BOE.
  • The amended appropriation for HCPSS includes $1.4 million in school-verified, non-recurring items. Following adoption of the budget, the county will submit these costs to the State Board of Education to request exclusion from the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) calculation for future years. The final, as amended, proposed county funding for HCPSS will be an increase of $10.6 million over the FY 2017 budget and a total of $2.9 million over MOE. However, $1.4 million of this amount is for non-recurring, one-time expenses.
  • The amended proposed budget will ensure funding for: negotiated salary increases; 87 para-educator positions; the new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position; and full funding for special education.