February 29, 2024

Hundreds call for more funding for Cecil County schools with budget shortfall impacting staff, programs

ELKTON – Hundreds of students, parents and staff members of Cecil County Public Schools came together for a rally Tuesday night ahead of a county council legislative meeting. 

The group “Fund CCPS,” founded by a senior student, called on changes to the proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget for the district, which has a $20 million budget shortfall. 

“I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to make a change,” organizer Allison Stoudt said. 

In a January meeting, the Cecil County Board of Education was presented with budget projections for the 2024-2025 school year, which unveiled the drastic dip in potential funds.

The change is being attributed to two grants ending, Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation and three years of Maintenance of Effort funding by the Cecil County Government, according to the office of the superintendent. 

The budget shortfall could have significant impacts on staffing, including more than 150 positions being eliminated.

Major programs could also be deducted or eliminated, including countywide chorus, band and strings, junior varsity and middle school sports, plus gifted programs. 

Teacher Terry Wyatt said Cecil County’s future is on the line. 

“We need the money to help our children do the very best,” Wyatt said. “Our children are our future.”

People packed into the Cecil County Council chambers to speak during public comment about these issues. 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, the Cecil County School Board will have a meeting.

The budget recommendations for fiscal year 2025 is on the docket. 

Ultimately, the county government, namely the county executive, will determine how much funding the school system will receive. 

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