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Keyword: education

Survey and Public Comment on Multi-Year Improvement Plan for All Schools

Baltimore County Public Schools and Baltimore County Government invite the public to take a survey and provide public comment about school facilities as part of the Multi-Year Improvement Plan for All Schools (MYIPAS). The purpose of MYIPAS is to develop a long-range plan for identifying and prioritizing capital improvements to all schools.

“The people of Baltimore County are our partners in progress and their voices are critical to ensuring that we create a long-term plan that best meets the needs of our communities,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “By working together, we can outline a clear roadmap to provide our students and educators with the safe, modern learning environments they need and deserve.”

“I encourage students, families, staff, and community members to be part of our legacy by guiding the plan for modernized teaching and learning spaces that will benefit generations,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “The current crisis has only reinforced the many ways in which schools bring us together. Now is the time to lend your voice and shape our future.”

The public input process began in April 2020 with the formation of focus groups to evaluate and discuss three areas: enrollment projections, capacity and utilization; educational equity and adequacy; and facility condition.

The entire community is invited to participate in the MYIPAS Survey through 11:59 p.m., July 15, 2020. Feedback may also be provided by completing the online comment form.

All comments received are public record, and will be logged and posted to the Multi-Year Improvement Plan for All Schools Web page, including names, but not email addresses. Personal information should be avoided (e.g., phone numbers, student names, etc.).

The MYIPAS will be completed in two phases. Phase one will focus on recommendations for high schools. Phase two will focus on recommendations for elementary and middle schools.


FY21 Budget Released Amid Significant Economic Uncertainty Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today submitted to the County Council a $3.9 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 that prioritizes fundamental commitments to providing quality education, keeping neighborhoods safe and supporting the County’s workforce to ensure residents can continue to receive essential government services.

The proposed budget for FY21 reflects an approximate $40 million write-down from earlier revenue estimates, due to the growing economic impact of the pandemic, while also providing funds for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward, including economic opportunity, sustainability, healthy and safe communities, and transparent and accountable government.

“This is not the budget I hoped to present, but it is the one that meets the moment. We are laser-focused on responding to the immediate needs of this crisis even as we prepare our County for the long-term economic recovery.” Olszewski said. “We will get through this together, continuing to build toward our vision for a better Baltimore County for us all.”

Budget Highlights

In a virtual address to the County Council, Olszewski highlighted record investments in education and support for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward. The total proposed Operating Budget is $3.9 billion.

Below are highlights of the FY21 budget County Executive Olszewski submitted to the Baltimore County Council.

Education

  • Provides record funding for education for the second year in a row. Total proposed education budget is more than $2 billion. The proposed BCPS budget is nearly $36 million above FY20 funding levels and $20 million over Maintenance of Effort (MOE).
  • Provides a one percent cost-of-living increase for all Baltimore County Public Schools employees, effective July 1, 2020.
  • Provides more than $1 million to hire additional school counselors and support staff to help address the mental health, social and emotional needs of our students.
  • Provides funding to support the Early College High School program at Woodlawn High School and the Pathways in Technology program at Dundalk High School.
  • Protects Baltimore County’s portion of capital funding for all remaining Schools for our Future projects, which cannot move forward until the state provides its share of funding from the Built to Learn Act.

Healthy and Safe Communities

  • Provides funding to realize critical components of County Executive Olszewski’s public safety plan, including support for the Real Time Crime Center and focused enforcement initiatives.
  • Provides the first phase of funding for a second set of turnout gear for firefighters.
  • Provides capital funding for two, new school-based Police Athletic League (PAL) Centers through the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Transparent, Accountable Government

  • Retains a 10.3 percent fund balance—critical for maintaining the County’s bond ratings.
  • Provides funding for full implementation of Baltimore County’s newly operational 311 program.
  • Expands the Baltimore County Office of Ethics and Accountability.
  • Creates an Audit Compliance Unit to ensure that audit findings are effectively deployed to improve County operations and help track tens of millions of dollars in COVID-related expenditures.

Vibrant, Livable Communities

  • Provides a previously announced, two percent cost-of-living increase for all County employees effective June 30, 2020. The proposed budget also includes a previously negotiated two percent cost‐of‐living increase for County employees, effective January 1, 2021.
  • Provides funds for planning and implementation of the Towson Circulator pilot program, leveraging a $1.6 million federal grant.
  • Provides funding to resume glass recycling, which the prior administration suspended.
  • Adds $1 million to support volunteer fire companies.
  • Provides new funding for park acquisition and a more equitable distribution of park and recreational infrastructure.

Economic Opportunity

  • Provides funding to expand employer-driven workforce strategies.
  • Freezes in-County tuition at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).
  • Ensures stability of College Promise Program, enabling CCBC to accept approximately 300 additional students.

Commitment to Critical Investments

Under state enabling legislation, the administration will introduce a bill to allow the placement of enforcement cameras on our school buses to more effectively catch drivers who continue to disregard the prohibition on passing stopped school buses. All revenue collected from this effort will be dedicated to support public safety efforts.

As the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to shift, the Office of Budget and Finance will continue to work with the legislative branch during their budget review as the latest information and projections are available.

The County Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on May 21.

View the full text of the County Executive’s FY21 budget message.


Olszewski Administration will also pursue public health, environmental legislation this session

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will again make the fight for school construction and education funding as the top priorities of his legislative agenda for the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session. The push for education funding will be part of a robust, legislative agenda that also includes public safety initiatives, environmental efforts and measures related to public health.

“We need to secure the critical investments in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our communities that will make a difference for both this generation and the next,” Olszewski said. “Our legislative agenda this year is focused on expanding upon the progress we have already made in order to build a better Baltimore County for all with stronger, more vibrant, and more sustainable communities for years to come.”

"Baltimore County's residents want and deserve strong, safe, and growing communities — and that's exactly what this agenda is about. We're committed to working together to bring results for the people of Baltimore County,"  said Baltimore County Delegation Chair, Delegate Pat Young.

The Olszewski Administration’s 2020 legislative agenda includes:

Investing in our Schools and Classrooms
Baltimore County has funded $242 million in shovel-ready school construction projects. These projects cannot move forward without increased State investment and additional needs remain, including several Baltimore County high schools.

Building on his efforts in the 2019 session, County Executive Olszewski will continue to lead the fight for passage of the Built to Learn Act.

Investing in our Educators and Students
Baltimore County invested over $900 million in public education in FY2020, more than $35 million more than required under Maryland’s Maintenance of Effort law. This is a record investment – but we must continue to do more to ensure every student graduates ready for college or a career.

Recognizing the support Baltimore County has already put forward, County Executive Olszewski will work with legislators to enact the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.

Enhancing Regional Public Safety Initiatives
The Baltimore County Police Department works with neighboring jurisdictions to target violent crime through the Warrant Apprehension Task Force and Regional Auto-theft Task Force. Both programs are successful but under-resourced.

Baltimore County will propose a State-funded matching grant program for inter-jurisdictional law enforcement initiatives.

Creating Innovative Solutions to the Opioid Crisis
Baltimore County had the second highest number of opioid-related deaths in Maryland in 2018. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, County Executive Olszewski convened a workgroup, which recommended the creation of a “Hub and Spoke” treatment model similar to a system used with great success in Vermont.

Baltimore County will propose a State-funded pilot program which follows this model, integrating substance abuse treatment with general healthcare and wellness services.

Protecting Those Who Serve Us
Maryland’s “move over” law currently offers insufficient protection for our first responders and work crews. More than 3,500 people have been injured and 46 people have been killed in work zone crashes across Maryland from 2014-2018 according to SHA. Virginia recently addressed this issue by passing a law to treat a move-over infraction as reckless driving, with a maximum fine of $2,500.

Baltimore County will propose that the State enact a statewide provision similar to Virginia’s, to better protect those who serve us.

Improving County Parks & Playgrounds
The State’s Community Parks and Playground Program restores existing parks and also creates new park and green space systems – but the two Maryland counties without municipalities, including Baltimore County -- are currently excluded from participation in the program.

Baltimore County will explore efforts to expand the program’s eligibility requirements so residents can better benefit from Maryland’s ongoing investment in parks and green space.

Protecting Our Waterways
Toxic chemicals can contaminate local water supplies, costing millions of dollars and taking years to clean up. The chemicals perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) in firefighting foams have been linked to the contamination of water sources and cancerous diseases, and several states have sued chemical manufacturers.

Baltimore County will propose a statewide ban on the use of these chemicals in firefighting foams for training purposes.

Addressing Illegal Truck Traffic
Large trucks often travel on unauthorized roads to avoid tolls or to save time, and local communities suffer as a consequence. Technology offers an efficient mechanism to curb this practice.

Baltimore County will propose enabling State legislation to install traffic cameras that will monitor streets for unauthorized truck traffic. Violators will pay fines for straying from authorized truck routes, significantly reducing illegal truck traffic in County neighborhoods and improving quality of life for affected residents.

Revitalizing our Communities
In 2018, Maryland created a Community Development Program Fund to provide financial assistance to community development projects.

Baltimore County will ask the State to invest $5 million annually into the fund to aid jurisdictions as they help to create vibrant communities.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017