Harford County Council voted 5-2 in favor of County Executive Barry Glassman's proposed budget which excludes funding for Harford County Public Schools.
“I would like to thank County Council President Vincenti, and Council members Beulah, Woods, Giangiordano and Shrodes for approving the FY 20 budget, which invests record-level funding in education and public safety, without raising tax rates. This budget also marks the fifth year in a row that funding has been provided to increase salaries for teachers, law enforcement and county employees, all of whom provide vital services for our citizens. I would especially like to thank my budget staff and everyone who supported our budget this year. Together, we continue to move Harford County forward,” said County Executive Glassman.
Harford County officials say the budget will provide the school system with a $10.7 million increase in addition to state increases it will exceed the school board's budget for the 2019-2020 school year.
According to Harford County Education Association, the proposed budget will also cut 150 positions, 100 of which are teacher positions. They say the School Superintendent was able to save 53 positions with the help of state funding, but it is awaiting approval from the Board of Education on June 10.
“We’re extremely disappointed. It’s obvious that the Council chose to approve the County Executive’s Budget that year after year has millions of dollars in surplus instead of adequately funding our schools,” said Chrystie Crawford-Smick, President of Harford County Education Association.
This recent budget cut comes weeks after educators and activists rallied outside of the Harford County Public Schools Central office in effort to increase funding for the school system. They advocated to restore teacher positions and to support high quality education for the students of Harford County. The education activists were concerned that the lack of funding would have a long-term impact on their community.
Although funding has been voted on, it is still the school board's decision on how the funds will be allocated.
Harford County Public Schools ranks last of the 24 counties in Maryland in regards to funding.