Between November and December of 2019, City Schools hosted a series of forums to collect input from the community about areas where we, as a district, should be investing in for the 2020-21 school year. The community was also able to share their thoughts using an online survey. At the same time, schools hosted school-based meetings to talk about what their school's priorities should be for the coming school year.
All of this feedback helped inform decisions and planning for budget development for the 2020-21 school year, also known as the FY21 budget.
The Board hosted a virtual board forum on May 4 that was streamed live, where the public's questions were answered and feedback was taken.
The state's Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (the "Kirwan Commission") is charged with making recommendations on what would be needed for Maryland's schools to perform at the level of the world's top education systems and on needed changes to state funding of schools serving students from pre-k to 12th grade.
What would a world-class education system look like in Baltimore? What approach to funding would ensure equity for Baltimore's students? With input from stakeholders and advocates and reflecting research-based best practices in urban education, City Schools has drafted its vision for Baltimore's schools under a new state funding formula.
View "Investing in Our Future" in Spanish
City Schools allocates the maximum possible funding to schools, both directly for flexible spending and indirectly through district-provided services, and works to ensure that distribution is equitable across all schools, so that all students' needs can be met. Different priorities, needs, and schools means that school budgeting can be complex, and the formulas used for charter and traditional schools have not been easy to understand.
In 2018, the district convened a group of stakeholders representing charter schools, traditional schools, and the district office to look at how schools are funded and to work toward recommendations to make funding methods more transparent and easily understood, while also ensuring equity across school types. Below are presentations from a series of work sessions held by the stakeholder group.
Recently, the Maryland State Department of Education added a new piece of information to their MD School Report website. You can now see how much each school and school district in the state spends per student. MSDE refers to this as per-pupil expenditures. This data can help you, and other stakeholders, better understand education funding.
For more information or other past years' budget documents, contact the Finance Office.
At the outset of developing the FY18 operating budget, City Schools identified a structural budget gap exceeding $100 million. The gap was closed through cost-cutting and provision of additional resources from the city and state.
As part of House Bill 684 passed during the 2017 General Session, the Maryland General Assembly required the Board of School Commissioners to prepare a financial recovery plan for the district, which was submitted to the city and state on August 1, 2017.