May 1, 2023

To: Chairperson Rigby and the Howard County Council

Re: Proposed 2024 Education and Operating Budget

The League of Women Voters of Howard County supports the full funding of the

Education Budget request. We wish to highlight specific initiatives for HCPSS, including, but

not limited to:

● Additional funds to support the Pre-K Expansion under Pillar I of the Blueprint for


● Funding for additional positions in Special Education, Early Childhood Education, and

the Career Academies.

● The expenses to open Guilford High School above those covered by the Capital Budget.

● Continuing and additional support for the HoCo Strives program to support wrap-around

services and afterschool support for our young people at risk of academic failure and

dropping out of school.

● Support for wellness, mental initiatives, and behavioral health.

We also support programming for HCC and the HCLS, as those institutions are integral to the

ongoing education of community members of all ages. We especially want to emphasize our

interest in the HCC Workforce Development and Trades programs. These programs should be

expanded to train adults of all ages in skills that will meet the needs of area employers and

provide access to meaningful, well-paid employment. Additional instructors and job coordinators

will be needed as those programs expand. Those programs need dedicated space built to their

specialized requirements. Generic classrooms and office space will not suffice. We also support

the JumpStart program, offering college courses to high school students.

The HCLS requires additional funding to maintain the quality and quantity of the collection in

the face of rising prices, in order to continue to provide the high level of service county residents

have come to rely upon from our local library.

The HCLS provides education and literacy experiences for residents of all ages, playing a key

role in developing school readiness for young children, academic support and after-school

enrichment classes for young adults (who have been chased out of the mall on the weekends),

and a variety of classes and discussion groups for adults of all ages.

The League also supports budget programs found in the Operating Budget request, including, but

not limited to:

● Support for the Citizens Election Fund, and funding for taping and televising local nonpartisan

programs dedicated to voter education, such as candidate and ballot initiative


● Support for public safety initiatives, including additional personnel, body cameras, and

the digital evidence locker.

● Upgrades to county records systems to enhance cybersecurity.

● Healthcare initiatives for maternal and child health, behavioral health, and mental health.

● Fully funding the Housing Opportunities Trust Fund, housing rehabilitation and rental


● Funding for the community action non-profit organizations, which may become critical if

federal or state funding declines, and continued support for the Non-profit Collaborative

center that supports our work.

● Support for our local small businesses and the several programs designed to support and

promote local agribusinesses, and the disparity study of county support for local


● Support for climate action and resiliency programs and conservation easements.

● Improvements to the local transportation infrastructure, expansion of local bus service,

and pedestrian and cyclist safety.


Krista Threefoot, President

Laura Mettle, Vice President