Business, Education, Politics

County Executive Olsewski proposes record investments in education

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Wednesday was joined by Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams and Board Chair Makeda Scott to announce proposed record investments in the County’s public education system for Fiscal Year 2022.

The total proposed budget for the school system totals more than $2.05 billion and covers nearly all of the Board of Education’s requests. The County Executive’s proposed budget includes the single largest dollar increase – more than $40 million – over the required maintenance of effort in Baltimore County’s history.

“The pandemic has been especially difficult for our students, families and educators, and ensuring our education system’s recovery requires unprecedented investments,” Olszewski said. “My proposed budget includes historic investments to support our teachers, staff, and administrators as they work in the coming year to address the needs of all of our students.”

“As we look ahead to the next school year, this budget proposal responds to the COVID crisis with staffing and resources to buffer the pandemic’s impacts on our students and schools,” Williams said. “On behalf of the school system, I’d like to thank County Executive Olszewski for recognizing that our schools are the main engine of recovery for Baltimore County.”

“Recovering from the past year will require a massive investment and unwavering commitment on behalf of the entire community,” Scott said. “The Board of Education members appreciate the support we have received from County Executive Olszewski. His proposed budget fulfills many of our requests and will enable us to make significant strides forward for our students, teachers, and staff.”

Notably, the proposed budget restores 122 teaching positions that were proposed to be cut due to declining enrollment in the current school year, and fully funds step increases a mid-year cost of living adjustment for BCPS staff.

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Investments in the proposed budget, funding by both County general funds and federal stimulus dollars, include:

  • Restoration of 122 teaching positions that were proposed to be cut due to declining enrollment as a result of the pandemic.
  • Full funding for step increases and a mid-year Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for staff
  • Paying school-based educators and administrators for an additional 15 minutes each day to support student recovery.
  • Increased support for the Community Eligibility Provision which allows schools to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students.
  • Funding for 35 new positions, including counselors and pupil personnel workers, who play an essential role in the holistic wellness of our children.
  • Millions for middle school programs and summer school efforts.
  • Reclassifying of the system’s 24 athletic directors as 12 month employees, recognizing the dedication and time commitment that this work requires.

Olszewski will officially present his third budget to the Baltimore County Council on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

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