Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

2007 Capital Budget – Education II

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, April 5, 2006

The Baltimore Examiner reports that the School Board is lobbying County Council to increase Capital funding for the Board of Educations renovation projects.

County Executive Robey isn't able to meet all the budget requests from the various County departments, so he oks some and defers other. Ho hum… Just regular business. No complaints from me.

Here is how the process works.

The Board of Education submits a budget request (operating and capital). The County Executive reviews it and makes a decision as to what he will ask County Council for and what he won't on a line item basis and submits his recommendation to the County Council. Now the County Council can cut the proposed funding – but they can't increase it unless it is to restore funding the County Executive cut (I don't know what retored funding means – does it mean restored from the official BoE request), thus Mr. Ulman's comment "I’m hopeful that we can come up with additional dollars." confuses me. Where is he going to come up with the money? Cut another department's budget?

Now this is what gets me.

The Board of Education gets their budget allocation and despite the budget proposal they submitted they can spend the money any way that they want. They don't have to adhere to their own budget request, or the final approved budget. They make the final determination.

Now, I am not saying that the renovations outlined in the article are not needed. I am suggesting that if they are so important and they ultimately determine where the money is spent then they can make some hard decisions.

Do you think the Board of Education can find $2 million in an $80 million Capital Budget for these renovations? Can they defer some of their other projects or perhaps stretch out the funding for another year?

My prediction if they don't get the additional funds. They will blame County Council for not finding funding the renovations when all the time the time the Board of Education can decide whether or not to fund the renovations from the allocated 2007 Capital Budget. Why do I say this – they have done it before. Instead of making the hard decsions they pass the buck to the County Council so they don't look like the "bad guy". "Don't blame us it was, after all, a County Council decision."

If I am wrong and the Board of Education takes it on the chin for making a tough decision then good for them.

In an election year I am sure the candidates will all be "… hopeful that we can come up with additional dollars."

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2 Responses to “2007 Capital Budget – Education II”

  1. Anonymous said

    The process does not work the way you have described in your post.

  2. hocoblog said

    The reader will need to be more specific.

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