From Harford County government and Harford County Public Schools:
The Harford County Board of Education and County Executive Bob Cassilly have each agreed to contribute additional funding for school operations in FY24 and to collaborate year-round on the efficient use of taxpayer funds. The joint agreement is the result of extensive discussions between HCPS, the Cassilly administration and County Council to resolve concerns about next year’s budget and to lay the groundwork for better communication and cooperation.
The Harford County Board of Education has agreed to contribute $15M from fund balance reserves toward their own operating budget for fiscal year 2024. County Executive Bob Cassilly has agreed to contribute an extra $10M, bringing the total increase to $25M for next year, in addition to the expected increase in state funding for HCPS.
The school system’s contribution will come from their surplus of funds from prior years, also known as their “fund balance.”
The county executive’s share will be directed to raise teacher salaries and/or reduce class sizes. The funds will be drawn from 2.5% cut by County Executive Cassilly from the current, FY23 budget across all county departments and other cost savings under his administration.
As part of the agreement, Harford County government and HCPS will follow a new budget process providing for year-round cooperation and sharing of information between the two agencies to effectively align resources and needs. Both agencies have also agreed to continue working together to reduce redundancies, similar to last year’s opening of Harford County’s joint fleet maintenance facility for publicly-owned vehicles, including school buses.