It’s expected to total more than$938-million.
County Council President Brad Young
Frederick, Md (KM) It’s budget time in Frederick County. The Board of Education is expect this week to send over its budget request for fiscal year 2024. The amount totals $938-million. “I did know that the BOE was going to ask for a big number this year,”: says County Council President, Brad Young. “Certainly, I would expect that the County Executive will do her best to fund what she can of that.”
Young, who served on the Board of Education, said Frederick County has the second lowest funded school district in Maryland, and that means teachers, support staff and other employees are not paid competitive wages. “I’m going to be supportive of efforts to increase the amount of funding that Frederick County puts towards education. It is our greatest asset that we have is making sure that we are educating our students while preparing for whether they’re going to college, whether they go into the workforce or whether they’re going into the armed services. We need to make sure they’re getting an adequate education,”: he says.
Also, Young notes that one-half of the School System’s funding comes from the state, and the other half comes from the county.
But Young realizes that other county agencies, such as the Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Rescue Services, Planning, and Parks and Recreation, will also be seeking additional funding, and it will be balancing act trying to please them all. “Yes, it is going to be, unfortunately as always, a situation where you can’t fund everything and you have to make tough decisions and that will be part of the process,” he says. “And listening to what constituents think is most important. And also looking at the needs and what’s required and what’s desired is important to separate out before making any final decision.”
And the students keep on coming, Young says. “Frederick County was the only school system in Maryland to grow in students over the past couple of years, and is projected to continue to grow,” he says. “We had a 10-percent growth in students last year.”
The School Board is scheduled to send over its fiscal year 2024 budget request this coming Wednesday, February 8th. It will be sent to the County Executive who will prepare her budget. That spending plan will be released in April. After that, the County Council will hold hearings on the budget and make any adjustments. The Council must approve a budget by May 31st, 2023, or the County Executive’s budget will take affect.
Fiscal year 2024 begins on July 1st, 2023.
By Kevin McManus