Many thanks to the hundred or so folks who turned out for last night's budget information meeting at Potomac Falls High School. Dr. Hatrick gave a very in-depth presentation and took questions for about forty-five minutes. Board members Joe Guzman, Warren Geurin, Tom Reed and Priscilla Godfrey were also there.
One gentleman got into a little numbers debate with Dr. Hatrick, and it was easy to understand why he felt frustrated. One of the presentation's early slides stated that LCPS funding as a share of local property tax revenue has declined from 78% to 70% over the past several years. In response to the gentleman's question, Dr. Hatrick stated that LCPS takes up only 50% of the County's budget. That left a lot of people wondering...which is it? 70% or 50%?
It's both, actually. A little more than 70% of the property taxes you pay goes to fund school operations. But the County has other revenue sources besides property taxes, such as special funding from the State and Federal government specifically for law enforcement. So the LCPS share of total expenditures is closer to 50%.
There's similary interesting pair of numbers on the LCPS side. The School Board's proposed budget calls for $11.9M less funding from the County (called Local Transfer) than LCPS received last year. That's a drop in funding. But the LCPS proposed budget increases by about 0.2%. Why? Because LCPS also received revenue from other sources, including state and federal governments and fees charged for building use (and next year, for sports and parking).