FCPS Budget Basics
Capital Budget: School Construction Fund
The school system’s capital budget funds the construction of new school facilities and provides for renovations, additions, roofing and barrier-free projects, technology equalization and the purchase and/or relocation of portable classrooms for existing facilities. For more information about funding for school construction and the related process, see the capital improvement program section.
Operating Budget: Programs, Services & Salaries
Maryland boards of education have no taxing authority, so our public school systems depend on state and local governments for revenue. In Frederick County, the state typically provides about 46% of the school system’s annual operating budget funds and the County Commissioners about 50%. State funding is established primarily during the annual January-April legislative session of the General Assembly, and funds are administered through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The remaining 4% comes from the federal government, out-of-district tuition, user fees and interest income.
To comply with Maryland’s 2002 Bridge to Excellence legislation and the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), FCPS has a five-year Master Plan describing how we will allocate resources to meet performance standards. The general operating fund for FCPS aligns with the Master Plan and covers the cost of providing instruction and supporting day-to-day activities in the schools—instructional materials and supplies, programs and services, salaries, transportation and technology. The operating budget also includes food service and self insurance funds.
On the local level, preparing the FCPS operating budget is virtually a year-round process. Each fall, school system staff members begin discussing priorities, and managers begin to compile budget requests for the next fiscal year. Supervisors review and adjust the preliminary requests before submitting them to the school system's Budget Office; the Superintendent and other officials review them. After careful consideration of the school system needs and public feedback about priorities, the Superintendent recommends an operating budget to the Board of Education (BOE) in January.
The BOE holds work sessions, regular meetings and a public hearing before submitting its budget request to the County Executive in February. The BOE may amend its budget request and the County Executive may consider the amendments before the final budget is approved.
The County Executive will hold a public hearing on the county's operating budget in March. The County Council will hold a public hearing on the county's operating budget in April and adopt it by May 25. To respond to budget issues, the BOE may hold additional meetings during the latter part of the county's budget-review process. The BOE adopts the detailed school system budget in June; the budget takes effect July 1.
Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the operating budget and view budgets for specific fiscal years from the links on the left.
See the Publications section of this website for the FCPS annual financial reports. For more detailed financial information, contact the FCPS Office of Budget and Finance, 191 South East Street, Frederick, MD 21701, 301-644-5043.