The Prince George’s County School Board on Feb. 25 unanimously approved a $1.75 billion budget that provides for increases in funding for full-day pre-kindergarten in a few high poverty communities, expanding art and foreign language programs and restoring some parent liaison positions to improve interaction between school administrators and parents.
It was the first budget submitted by Prince George’s County Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell, who took the helm in August.
New school board member Dan Kaufman, who participated in the budget process for the first time, said he “did not know what to expect.
“For me, and I think for many of my colleagues, the budget is more than a piece of paper with figures and dollar signs on it,” Kaufman said. “It’s also a vision document of where we want to take our school system over the next year for sure, but also moving forward over the next decade.”
District 2 School Board member Peggy Higgins said she applauds Maxwell’s budget proposal.
“Dr. Maxwell has reached out to the business communities, connecting with them to see if they will work individually with schools and kind of adopt schools [by] providing additional funds,” Higgins said. “I appreciate that initiative and its another way of showing we’re all working together for the same goal.”
The budget focuses on four key areas: funding student need, supporting employees, innovation and fiscal stability, Maxwell said.
The budget will now go to County Executive Rushern Baker III (D), the Prince George’s County Council and legislators to be approved.
Baker will release his proposed fiscal 2015 county budget on March 13. The school board will reconcile its approved budget with their requested budget in June and have the final budget approved prior to July 1.