Fully Fund the Education Budget for Harford County Public Schools

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Dear County Council Members and County Executive Barry Glassman,

We are concerned. Our schools are not receiving an adequate percentage of the county’s budget.  Over the past 4 years alone, the percentage HCPS has received from the county budget has declined by roughly 2%.  While that does not seem like a significant amount, 2% of the 2018 county budget of $570 million is well over $11 million.  11 million dollars in 2018 alone. This steady, ongoing decline has compounded over time and has created an impossible situation for our school system.  They cannot afford to honor the contracts of all of their employees. Over the past 6 years, over 400 jobs have been cut from HCPS and leaders are proposing an additional cut of 150 teachers and 26 administrators.  North Harford Middle School alone, will lose 14 teaching positions. Jobs from central administration and other areas are being cut as well. Many of these positions can be cut without a direct affect on students and we applaud Dr. Bulson for streamlining the school system’s workforce, however, losing teaching positions and school-based administration will directly impact student learning.  Class sizes will go up. Students with special needs will not get the support that they need. Our students will pay the price for inadequate funding. All of these cuts are coming after each school was asked to cut 10% of their operating budgets. Harford County Public Schools is doing their part to make tough, money-saving decisions to work within the budget that they are given.  

Our question to you is have you done enough for the students in this county?  Have you toured the schools and spent time asking teachers what they need to be successful?  Have you sat down with administrators to find out what they are doing to bridge the gap between what is needed and what they can afford?  Is having a bare-bones, mediocre school system ok with you?

This letter was not drafted to attack or belittle the work you do for this county and we hope that is not the message you heard.  We need you to know that we are upset. We expect better for our children. We urge you to challenge not only yourselves, but other public organizations in the county to follow the lead of the school system and take a hard look at your expenditures and cut the excess.  The children of Harford County should be the number one priority. Please fully fund the education budget and give the schools a fair percentage of the county-wide revenue.

Respectfully yours,

The Citizens of Harford County