Departments cope with decreasing budget

Maria Eberhart, Editor-in-chief

Dulaney’s operating budget has steadily declined since the 2015-16 school year despite consistent enrollment and increasing structural issues.

The operating budget, which is specifically apportioned for supplies, materials and other various services, is determined by Baltimore County Public Schools using a per pupil allocation formula based on student enrollment. Dulaney’s population has remained around 1800 students, but the operating allocation for the 2018-19 school year is $215,000 compared to $330,000 three years ago for fiscal year 2015-16.

BCPS attributes this decrease partially to the fact that schools no longer need to purchase computers and printers due to the new, expansive technology initiative. Principal Sam Wynkoop, who is responsible for managing the budget, has handled the cutbacks by making department chairs request materials instead of allotting specific funds for each department. He urges department heads to be frugal when making their requests.

English department chair Jason Bowman is considerate of the tightening budget.

“I tend to be really thoughtful of what I order, because I know we have limited resources,” Bowman said.

While Bowman generally considers the English department’s expenses accounted for, there are instances in which lack of funding is evident.

“It would be awesome to have money for National English Honor Society to do more and to send teachers to conferences and things like that…I don’t even ask because I know it’s not available,” Bowman said.

Student activity funds, such as paid admissions at sporting events and selling advertisements in The Griffin, also aid in financing programs at Dulaney. But the Parent Teacher Student Association and booster club fundraising is critical in supporting most school activities, especially athletics.

Director of Athletics Richard Reed is wary of the decreasing budget considering Dulaney’s large population of 1300 student athletes. He has also observed noticeable changes as a result of insufficient funding.

“When I first got here there were 20 JV baseball games allocated for the season, now we are down to 14. They [students] don’t see that games cost money. So, the county reduces some games and that really hurts,” Reed said.

Reed credits careful management and successful fundraising as methods of coping.

“We are very fortunate to have an amazing booster club… and we manage our money better than most,” Reed said. “Our teams are very good with regulating revenue, getting what they need, and having goals.”