Frederick County Council To Vote Next Week On Proposed FY ’24 Budget

The bulk of the funding is going  to the School System.

Frederick, Md (KM) A vote is expected next week by the Frederick County Council on a proposed budget for fiscal year 2024. The spending plan, as presented by County Executive Jessica Fitzwater, totals $893.6 million with $405-million for the School System, which is $35 million over maintenance of effort. The Council recently approved an amendment to a bill to set the county income tax rate and that’s expected to reduces the budget revenue by $.3.2 million

During a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Mid-Maryland Live,” Council President Brad Young said much of  the money for the Board of Education goes toward personnel such as teachers, support staff and administrative staff. He said these individuals are some of the lowest paid in the state. “They’re also trying to keep competitive with neighboring counties. We still currently pay starting teacher less than Washington County does,” he says.

Young was asked with all the money appropriated to the School System over the years, why hasn’t the School Board resolved this issue of low starting salaries for new teachers. “If you bump them all up, and then you got a 5th year teacher that making the same or less, they’re not going to be too happy,:” he replies.  . “So you can’t compress the scale by raising the bottom of the ladder without alienating the employees that are above. And that’s true whether it’s FCPS or a private company.

He says it will take a couple of years to make salaries at FCPS more competitive with other school systems.

The budget also deals with growth in Frederick County. “Frederick County over the past couple of years has grown by ten percent. The next closest county was Carroll County at two-and-a-half percept. Meanwhile, ten districts shrunk in students, and Frederick County is still growing this year,” says Young.

And that growth shows no signs of slowing down. “The problem is going to continue to get worse not only from the amount it takes to operate the School System, but for the standpoint of having enough seats to put these students,” Young says.

The County Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on Tuesday, May 30th. It will also set the property tax rate, and take comment on the new income tax rate for the County. The meeting begins at 5:30 PM.

Fiscal year 2024 begins on July 1st, 2023.

By Kevin McManus