The Charles County Board of Education on June 12 unanimously adopted a $369.6 million operating budget for fiscal year 2019. The budget represents an overall $17.4 million increase over the current fiscal year. State funding is increasing $11.7 million and the county increase is $6.6 million.
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will use most of the spending increase, about $9.6 million, for employee compensation. The increase allows CCPS to create a more competitive salary scale for teachers through implementation of a salary scale conversion, a starting teacher salary boost and a cost-of-living adjustment for administrative and support staff. Funding also provides restoration of a 2011 STEP increase for eligible employees. Compensation consumes a major part of the operating budget, with 81 percent going toward employee salaries and benefits.
“This budget will help CCPS offer competitive salaries so we are able to hire and keep high quality teachers and staff while still providing the resources and opportunities CCPS students need to reach their full potential,” Superintendent Kimberly A. Hill said.
The 4.9 percent funding increase also supports student enrollment growth, 25 school bus replacements and instructional programs. CCPS budgeted more than $1.8 million to hire 28 new teachers for a projected enrollment increase of 460 students in FY 2019.
The budget, Hill said, maintains core academic programs while adding support staff for special programs. Both special education and English Language Learner (ELL) student population growth in CCPS are among the highest in Maryland. The budget adds 10 instructional assistants, five for special education and five for ELL.
The budget also adds two psychologists as well as six new positions for the ASPIRE program to meet the critical instructional and mental health needs of students. ASPIRE is a program designed to offer a highly structured, safe and positive classroom environment for elementary students who persistently demonstrate behavior that impedes their ability to learn.
School lunch prices will remain the same at $2.65 for elementary students and $2.90 for secondary students.
The operating cost per pupil $13,923, an increase of $433 from the 2017-18 school year.
For more information on the budget, visit http://www.ccboe.com/index.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.