Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said the budget passed by the county school board Tuesday night is not fiscally sustainable.
The board shrugged off Olszewski’s plea that it pass a bare bones budget, opting instead to approve one that asks for an 11 percent increase. In a statement to WYPR Wednesday, Olszewski said that is not fiscally sustainable and that he will work with the school system to find cuts. Olszewski has asked departments to plan for the possibility of no new money this coming year.
At a news conference before the school board’s vote, Olszewski said the school system’s proposal would more than double the county’s $81 million deficit.
Olszewski said, “I think we can find a way to invest in our educators and meet the needs while being fiscally responsible.”
Olszewski said they can do that without cutting a proposed teacher pay raise.
The budget approved by the school board also extends the school day by 15 minutes and adds positions in special education and teaching English as a second language.
It also keeps in place the school system's controversial and expensive STAT program, which puts a computer in the hands of every student.
In the end, Olszewski and the County Council will decide how much money the school system gets.