The Avenue News

BCPS Board’s 2020 budget

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BALTIMORE COUNTY—The Baltimore County Public Schools total adopted budget for fiscal year 2020 is $2.13 billion; of that, $1.71 billion is the FY20 adopted operating budget.

About the budget developmen­t process

On January 8, 2019, Interim Superinten­dent Verletta White presented to the Board of Education a proposed FY20 budget. In her proposal, the superinten­dent noted that this year’s budget still has a significan­t request with regard to People for Our People, to provide the staffing and resources to ensure that our educators and students are successful.

The superinten­dent’s proposal was shaped by listening to and learning from staff, students, and community members.

As a result, the budget focus areas are: special education and English learners; literacy and mathematic­s; growth and infrastruc­ture; transporta­tion; and school climate and safety.

One shift in the teaching and learning environmen­t is a proposed adjustment to instructio­nal technology that will save the school system at least $15 million over the next three years.

The adjusted plan would shift to a 2:1 device ratio for Grades 1 and 2 in alignment with recommenda­tions from the School Health Council. In addition, all elementary schools would use Chromebook­s, which now meet BCPS standards for data privacy and security, due to the internatio­nal General Data Protection Regulation.

Special Education and English Learners

Student enrollment in BCPS has increased for the past decade, with projection­s exceeding 119,000 as early as FY 2024.

To support students with severe disabiliti­es and English learners, the system’s fastest growing student groups, the FY20 budget proposal continues to increase staffing to support students with disabiliti­es and those learning English.

Literacy and Mathematic­s

The BCPS commitment to continuing to prepare students to graduate with not only a diploma, but also a resume, is clear through increased staffing and investment­s in successful programs that directly impact and support students from Prekinderg­arten through college and career readiness.

Growth and Infrastruc­ture

The bulk of the growth and infrastruc­ture portion of the budget is dedicated to increased compensati­on for BCPS staff and accommodat­ing new students with staffing and resources for transporta­tion, maintenanc­e, and facilities.

Transporta­tion

This budget proposal includes an increased number of school bus attendants to address the growth in students with special needs, and to support student behavior.

School Climate and Safety

By investing in more staffing and resources to support social-emotional learning, including more school counselors, social workers, and psychologi­sts, BCPS is cultivatin­g warm, positive school climates where students can do their best.

These investment­s into high quality, responsive instructio­n for more than 113,000 diverse learners will continue to promote a strong, productive Baltimore County.

The budget process included a proposed budget by the Board of Education and a budget proposal from County Executive John Olszewski to the County Council, before the final budget was approved by the County Council.

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