Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Fiscal Year 2025 Operating Budget Request
The Board of Education of Charles County at its Feb. 13, 2024, meeting approved Superintendent of Schools Maria V. Navarro, Ed.D., proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Operating Budget. The Superintendent’s $523.4 million request prioritizes employee compensation and benefits, salary increases necessary to meet the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future requirements, the expansion of both early childhood and early college programs and to support all other existing CCPS operations.
Fiscal Year 2025 Budget request summary
The request totals $523,360,247 and includes an additional $29.6 million, or a 13.5% increase over fiscal year 2024. State funding is increasing by an estimated $10.8 million, or a 4.2% increase over fiscal year 2024. The fiscal year 2025 cost per pupil in the budget is $18,175, which is an increase of $584 per student. A total of 64 cents of each dollar in the budget is spent on classroom instruction. CCPS is the second largest employer in Charles County. Nearly 75% of employees live in Charles County, and spend their salaries in the community, which boosts the local economy.
The largest line item of the CCPS budget request is $17.1 million for funding to attract and retain teachers and to fairly compensate support staff. The statewide shrinking pool of teacher candidates requires CCPS to offer competitive salaries. CCPS also continues to address findings from a recent support staff compensation study that indicates the school system is 9% behind in salaries across competitive markets. Funding for rising employee benefit costs is also included in the fiscal year 2025 budget request.
More support to schools
The request includes funding for CCPS to provide additional supports to students in schools. This includes the expansion of the Youth Engagement Advocate role to the nine CCPS middle schools, and a middle and secondary extracurricular and activities plan to increase student participation at the secondary level. This plan includes transportation for student participants and funding to cover extra duty pay positions for team coaches. The request also includes funding for CCPS to convert 11 positions that provide direct support to students – psychologist, pupil personnel workers and high school counselors – from 11 months to 12 months to provide additional services during the summer months. CCPS also requested funding to support three additional ESOL teachers to support an increasing population of English learners.
Expansion of innovative programs and participants
CCPS will expand the Early College Program for the 2024-2025 school year to include three certificate of completion programs: medical coding, pharmacy technician and electrical engineering. CCPS will continue to cover costs for Early College program students who complete high school graduation requirements while attending the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) full time. The fiscal year budget request includes the addition of an Early College Program liaison who would manage the CCPS side of program logistics and provide direct support to students in the program and their and families.
Renovations will soon begin at the CCPS Transition School in Waldorf to further expand early childhood education. Once complete, the facility will open this fall as the second CCPS Early Learning Center with space for 150 additional prekindergarten students. The budget also includes funding to support the launch of the first dual language, two-way immersion program at Arthur Middleton Elementary School. Start-up
costs include bilingual materials, staffing, specific training for teachers and instructional assistants, building signage and the addition of bilingual books to the media center.
The fiscal year 2025 budget includes money to fund $7.3 million in mandatory costs increases that are non-negotiable such as health care costs, bus and school nurse contract increases, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation Premium increases. The budget request includes funding to cover costs for buses retiring from the CCPS fleet, and an additional 18 bus drivers and four attendants to accommodate for enrollment growth, expanding programs and additional routes. CCPS also agreed to a 5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and an 8-hour minimum for bus drivers working at least four hours per day. Also, costs outlined in the fiscal year 2025 budget request attributable to the Blueprint of Maryland’s Future implementation is an increase of $3 million excluding the salary increases also mandated.
The proposed budget is for fiscal year 2025, which begins July 1, 2024, and ends June 30, 2025.