Priorities In a School System Where Nearly Half of Students Live in Poverty
By Laurie Taylor-Mitchell
The annual costs for new computers and technology (STAT*) is now $57 million, and over $250 million overall is expected to be spent by 2018.
Administrative salaries and costs are also increasing within the school system: the salary budget for the Chief Academic Officer and two other positions is nearly $500,000.
In its massive diversion of funds towards technology, the proposed Operating Budget of Baltimore County Public Schools does not address the great need of all students for more support staff, and subjects the existing School support staff to ever more crushing workloads.
According to one administrator at a recent Board of Education meeting, the BCPS 2018 Operating Budget is “sufficient” in supporting administrators and offices working with students in poverty. Another stated that there were backpack programs feeding children in schools.
But the school system does not fund weekend backpack programs. The current backpack programs feeding children at risk of hunger on the weekends are funded privately; they only feed a few hundred children in the system and reach a fraction of those in need (there are over 32,000 children identified as food- insecure in Baltimore County).