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Ray Brown

Cousin proposes 1.9 percent increase in school spending

Fiscal year 2013 is shaping up to be another tight one for Howard County schools. Superintendent Sydney Cousin Thursday presented his proposed $697 million budget for next year to the county board of education. The budget is an increase of $13.3 million, or 1.9 percent, over the previous year — which was a 1.2 percent increase over the year before that. Cousin's presentation marks the beginning of a months-long budget process, culminating with the board's final approval at the end of May. "(The funding request) is both realistic and fiscally responsible," Cousin said in his budget statement. "It reflects our priorities as well as our commitment to good...