by Genevieve Demos Kelley
Though the $1.833 billion budget approved by the County Council is significantly smaller than the budget requested by the Board of Education in February, it represents a $37.8 million increase over the previous year’s $1.795 billion operating budget. But the number of students enrolled in the school system is also growing: The projected K-12 enrollment for the coming school year is 124,842, an increase of about 3,000 students compared with last year. The calculated K-12 “Cost Per Pupil” will actually slightly decline compared with last year, from $14,019 to $13,883 (see p. 36 of the full budget document)
Several budget categories will see increases or decreases in spending, when compared with the esimated expenditures from FY 2015(see p. 46 of the budget). Of all categoires, Instructional Salaries will see the greatest increase (about $29 million). The Textbooks and Instructional Materials category will see the greatest drop in spending ($10.4 million), followed by Administration ($6.7 million).
The Board of Education’s Citizens Letter, dated July 1, touted this list of new and expanded programs for PGCPS students: