Carroll County Public Schools’ proposed fiscal 2023 operating budget still faces uncertainties in revenues and expenditures, according to Superintendent Steve Lockard.
During a December school board work session, school staff stated that Carroll County anticipated receiving $6.6 million more in state funding for fiscal 2023 than it did in fiscal 2022. That assumption remains, Lockard said.
“We’re still assuming our estimate based on limited information,” Lockard said during the school board’s Jan. 12 meeting.
In fiscal 2022, CCPS received $145.8 million from the state. Fiscal 2023 begins on July 1, 2022.
“By the end of [January] we should have a pretty good idea of what that revenue number is and also … where some of those dollars are being directed and what that means to us from a spending perspective,” CCPS chief financial officer Chris Hartlove said during a presentation at the school board’s Jan. 12 meeting.
The cause of uncertainty is the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of the first phases of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation.
The Blueprint legislation is slated to create significant changes to the state’s funding formula for local public schools and mandate salary increases for teachers who receive a certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
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This would result in a $900,000 increase in the CCPS budget, according to Hartlove.
Hartlove previously said allocations from the county will increase by $6.4 million and the total increase for expenditures is estimated at $6.9 million.
Lockard is requesting an additional $4 million in the budget to create a pool for employee negotiations, additional bus contractor requests and other improvements.
“We know we’re going to have more needs than just $6 million and that’s basically why we decided to ask for additional dollars,” Hartlove said on Jan. 12.
Hartlove’s presentation stated that utilities, insurance and benefits in fiscal 2023 would be result in a $2.3 million increase over fiscal 2022. He also noted the loss of up to $1 million of Title I funding.
“In the December work session we estimated a $2.5 million [increase] … [$2.3 million] should be the number that sticks throughout the rest of the budget process,” Hartlove said.
Once CCPS receives information about updated state revenue figures, CCPS staff will finalize the budget plan. The school board is set to vote on the final fiscal 2023 budget in February.