by Genevieve Demos Kelley
Confused about PGCPS’s evolving FY 2016 budget? Here’s a summary of the budget’s trajectory — and what happens next — with links to the relevant documents and news articles:
- In December of 2014, CEO Maxwell proposed a $1.84 billion operating budget for FY 2016, an increase of roughly $44 million over the previous year’s budget.
- In January, Governor Hogan announced that he intended to reduce Geographic Cost of Education funding by 50%, resulting in a $20 million loss in anticipated state revenue for Prince George’s County schools.
- In February, the Board of Education submitted its requested FY 2016 budget to the County Executive for approval. At Dr. Maxwell’s recommendation, this new version of the budget was $1.93 billion, $91.7 million more than Maxwell’s original proposed budget. The new budget had a number of spending initiatives corresponding to the new strategic plan.
- In March, County Executive Rushern Baker proposed a controversial 15.6% property tax increase, which would generate an additional $133 million for the school and allow the county to fully fund the Board of Education’s $1.93 billion requested budget. The proposal garnered little public support, and Baker later modified his proposal, asking for a $65 million increase in tax revenues.
- The County Council passed a budget in May, rejecting both versions of Baker’s proposed tax increase but passing a smaller property tax increase of 4%. As reported by the Washington post, according to Council Chair Mel Franklin, most of the $34 million for schools generated by the tax increase would go toward funding pensions. There has been some highly contentious back-and-forth between the County Executive and the County Council regarding the budget and tax increase.
- In a budget work session on June 17, the Board of Education met with CEO Maxwell to discuss reconciliation of the FY 2016 budget. The County Council scaled back the school budget to $1.83 billion, roughly $97 million less than February’s requested budget and $6 million less than the CEO’s original proposed budget in December. Here is the PowerPoint presentation from that meeting. The Board of Education must adopt a final FY 2016 budget by June 30, reconciling the budget with approved funding.