Howard County Public Schools, Maryland

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 12:59, 19 March 2013 by Kristinpedia (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Public Records
Background Checks

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process
The Howard County Public School System is the school district that manages the public schools of Howard County, Maryland. It operates under the supervision of an eight-member Board of Education.

Website evaluation

In 2011 Howard County Public Schools earned a Sunny Award for having a perfect website transparency score.

This Web site was most recently reviewed an unknown date.

Main article: Evaluation of Maryland school district websites

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 13 years.[1]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[2]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and group email.[3]
    • Personal emails and contact information can be found after clicking on the picture of each board member.
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for at least 10 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for at least 10 years.[4]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
    • Meeting videos are posted since 2009.[5]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2007 are available.[6]
  • Contracts
    • Negotiated Agreements and Salary tables are posted.[7]
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[8]
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[9]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the Public Information Office. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[10]
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[11]
  • Academics
    • Academic performance reports for the school are posted online.[12]
  • Background Checks
    • The criminal background check policy and teacher certification requirements are posted online.[13]

The bad

  • Elected Officials
    • Board members do not have individualized email addresses.

Board of education

The Board of Education of Howard County is responsible for setting local education policy consistent with state and federal laws governing public education. At the direction of the Board, the Superintendent and the school system's administrative staff develop procedures and administrative regulations to support policy decisions. The Board is composed of seven members elected at-large for four-year terms, and a student member elected by students for a one-year term. [14]

Board Responsibilities[14]

  • Expressing and representing the views of the community in matters affecting education.
  • Determining educational standards and goals.
  • Exercising leadership for the operation of schools.
  • Allocating money for school operational needs and building programs.
  • Authorizing specific expenditures from county, state, and federal sources.
  • Authorizing curriculum development and revision.
  • Appointing and setting the salaries of the superintendent and, based on the recommendation of the superintendent, all professional personnel.
  • Interpreting the educational program and needs of the school system to the community.

Below is a list of current Board of Education members.[15]

Member Term Expires
Frank J. Aquino, Vice Chairman 2014
Allen Dyer 2012
Sandra H. French, Chairman 2014
Ellen Flynn Giles 2012
Brian J. Meshkin 2014
Janet Siddiqui, M.D., Chairman 2012
Cynthia L. Vaillancourt 2014
Cole Rosenberg, Student Member 2012-2013

Teacher contracts

School budget

FY 2012 Budget

Expenditure Highlights: The fiscal 2012 operating budget request totals $682,806,920, an increase of $7,459,270 or 1.1% over the fiscal 2011 budget.

Major Sources of Change in the Fiscal 2012 Budget:

  • Enrollment Related Costs: Adds $3.0 million and 46.2 positions due to enrollment growth.
  • Mandatory Increases: Adds the interscholastic athletic program for students with disabilities (Allied Sports Program). Covers increases in fixed charges such as retirement costs, unemployment costs, tuition reimbursement and workers’ compensation.
  • Funding to Continue Ongoing Programs: Adds $5.7 million and 4.5 positions to continue ongoing programs at their current level of service. Decreases in Federal and State grant funds require movement of staffing and funds from restricted grants to the unrestricted operating budget. Student transportation anticipates a $2.0 million increase in the cost of bus contracts and route changes. The budget increases user charges for the Technology Fund in order to support data systems and to upgrade the school system’s integrated financial system.
  • Program Enhancements: Provides funds for planning a World Language Program at the elementary level.
  • Reductions to Support Mandatory Increases: Reductions total $3.3 million and include a decrease of 9.0 positions. The largest savings are due to reduced salary costs, which occur when retirees are replaced by less senior staff or positions are vacant. Special Education summer services moves from five (5) weeks to four (4) weeks. The postage account has been reduced based on increased use of technology.

Revenue Highlights:

  • The County requested allocation of $467,617,041 represents an increase in the level of Maintenance of Effort funding as provided for in State Law (based on an increase of 311.25* students), an increase of $2,908,253 or 0.6 percent.
  • Estimated State funds are $209,794,569 which include $4,983,853 in Geographic Cost of Education funds, an increase of $4,799,997 or 2.3 percent.
  • Other sources of funding include $370,000 in Federal funds, and various fees, tuition and interest which amount to $5,025,310. Together these other sources comprise 0.8 percent of the budget.
  • The Howard County Public School System receives 68.5% of its operating budget from Howard County government and 30.7 percent from the state of Maryland.

Approved Budgets

Past three budgets:[16]

Fiscal 2009 Fiscal 2010 Fiscal 2011
$655,440,420 $656,694,110 $675,347,650

Academic performance

Maryland measures academic progress each year by administering the Maryland School Assessment, the Alternate Maryland School Assessment (for students with disabilities), and the Maryland High School Assessments.[17]

HSA performance

The chart below details the percentage passing the following subjects:[18]

Grade Overall Algebra Biology English Government
Grade 12 99.9% 98% 94.9% 94.3% 97.6%
Grade 11 97% 96.4% 94.3% 91.4% 96.7%
Grade 10 95.6% 96.2% 93.4% 89.8% 95.1%

MSA performance

The chart below details the percentage passing the following subjects:[18]

Grade Math Reading Science
Grade 8 84.7% 90.9% 85.6%
Grade 7 87.9% 92.1% -
Grade 6 88.2% 91.4% -
Grade 5 87.5% 94.3% 76.4%
Grade 4 92.1% 93.5% -
Grade 3 89.5% 91.2% -


The Howard County Education Association is made up of over 4,400 teachers, counselors, psychologists, pupil personnel workers, interpreters, therapists (speech, occupational, physical and school mental health therapists), school social workers, secretaries, clerks, registrars, assistants (instructional, media, special education, health, food service, security and student assistants), and central office technical, management and technical employees at the HCPSS central office. HCEA is the professional association and also the exclusive representative in collective bargaining for all teachers and most education support professionals in Howard County.<refHCEA</ref>

School choice

A public charter school operates under the authority of the Board of Education of Howard County. A public charter school must abide by the provisions of all laws, policies, and regulations governing other public schools, except as otherwise provided in policy or state law.[19]


Main article: Maryland government sector lobbying

The school district has stated that it does not have a contractual relationship with lobbyists.[20] It is a member of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, a government sector lobbying association.[20] Howard County Public Schools has hosted legislative receptions, a form of government sector lobbying.[20]

External links