Szeliga and Nawrocki: “Budget Accountability Shut Down”

District 7A Delegates Kathy Szeliga and Ryan Nawrocki urge the county school board to restore the Budget Oversight Committee. In a shocking move after 10 p.m. Tuesday night, the Baltimore County Board of Education Chair asked the Board to dissolve its permanent budget oversight committee. After a lengthy and intense debate, the motion passed 7- 4. All committee members (excluding the board chair) voted against the action.

The latest action is one of several attempts by BCPS to bypass Board oversight this budget season:
• In January, BCPS launched the FY2025 budget to the media rather than the Board, as has been past practice.
• Only one board work session on the budget was scheduled and held (compared to multiple sessions in prior
• Members’ time for questions during this solitary work session was drastically limited and strictly enforced.
• Answers to many board member budget questions (often asked by our constituents) that were posted to the BCPS
website were woefully inadequate.
• Finally, in late February, the Board was asked to approve a proposed FY2025 budget without department
financials or staffing details.

Delegate Ryan Nawrocki said, “In a year of significant budget changes, including position reductions, and following enterprise-wide zero-based budgeting, the School Board received LESS information than ever. Why?”

Delegate Kathy Szeliga added, “School funding deserves full examination and debate. This year’s budget warrants more scrutiny – not less!”

More than 50% of county tax dollars fund our public schools – $2.4 billion annually. If the body you elect to oversee those dollars can’t even see where your money is being spent, how can you trust that the dollars are being used wisely?

We urge the Baltimore County Executive and the Baltimore County Council to join our calls to reverse this wrong decision. The public deserves an open, transparent, and accountable government, and BCPS is no exception. Reinstate the budget oversight committee and appoint members who support its work and goals.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later in 2022.