Frederick County Public Schools interim superintendent Mike Markoe is seeking $836 million for the system’s fiscal 2023 budget, a jump of more than $135 million from what former superintendent Terry Alban recommended the previous fiscal year.

The district’s fiscal 2022 budget ended up at $765 million — $64 million more than Alban had requested. That was due to an atypical influx of federal and state grants for pandemic relief, said FCPS Chief Financial Officer Leslie Pellegrino.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

Education reporter

Jillian Atelsek covers education for The Frederick News-Post. She grew up near Woodsboro, attended Walkersville High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with degrees in journalism and history.

(13) comments


Every year it's is the same old thing, we need money.


And what measurable outcome is expected from a 9% increase? What are the measurable goals? 9% improvement in test results, grades, student performance? Every budget increase should be accompanied by a set of expected results and means of measuring those results. And FCPS school leadership and especially the superintendent’s compensation should be tightly coupled to achieving those results. I understand a portion of this is tied to inflation and a portion related to growth. However BOE budget increases have largely exceeded growth / inflation for years now and from what I can tell no significant improvements in the education and tests scores of students. I want to see measurable and achieved improvements with the money spent - don’t want to see it pissed away - there are lots of competing priorities with other government services not to mention the impact on taxpayers. Please justify these increases - why - whats expected - re-evaluate at end of year and hold leadership accountable. I don’t mind spending on education if it gets results - but I do if we’re just pissing it away not showing progress or improvement.


Very good post here. Spot on.


Some mysterious masked man asks for $836,000,000 and we're just supposed to hand it over?

I think NOT! [cool]


Here's the things. People are up in arms over the recent DOJ findings within FCPS. Well, to fix this issue you need more support staff to help the teachers manage these students in a safer way and it's going to cost money to do this. FCPS is one of the lower paid school systems in the area. People drive across the county line into Washington, Montgomery and Carroll counties to make a lot more money doing the same job. It's time to keep the teachers we have and bring in strong new teachers.


17 full time "analysts" at 1.6 M. . That's a 94K salary. [sad]


Depends on if benefits are included in $1.6M cost. If so, this amount seems reasonable, as actual salary costs would probably be nearer to $65K.


salary is probably more like 60k. Need to factor in health insurance, life, pension...etc.


How fast is the student body growing? And with all the new developments, how much has the real estate property tax base grown?


Let us not forget the $$$$ that was provided thru covid relief acts to the state/county for our education system... I mean lots of $$$$. Now one might want to give some leeway here with an increase budget request if there was a real critical need that has not been budgeted before... no one argues that we need to pay our staffing personnel and even our teachers better to keep them with us and to attract our talented folks... we also need to restructure the hiring of bus drivers and those kind of positions because I looked into driving bus and when you are told you cannot take leave without pay because it might upset the union; well then you need to offer better vacation packages for drivers since drivers are in high demand! I concur with others who say balance your budget first and then tell me with ironclad data why you need more $$$$ since remembering school was virtual for a good part of time when things were not being utilized at all... realizing also the student body is increasing - know it first hand living here in Urbana we continue to build homes and people keep moving in here because it is a great county to live in compared to Montgomery and Fairfax.... so not totally against increasing the budget, but at the same time show me some savings and reductions in cost to the tax payers.


No leeway should be given because if you increase the budget, that becomes the new baseline that future budgets can't go below. If they do want to increase the budget, increase it as far as the revenue retained by eliminating the tax deductions and tax credits for having children will go. Who could argue with that since it would not be a tax increase but merely an elimination of special treatment for parents and they would finally pay the same in taxes as those with no children?


9% year over year FCPS funding increase request? After an 8% increase last year? Potential total 17% FCPS budget increase in two years?

This is stupid crazy, even if most funding being requested is from state and local funding, not local dollars. Taxes are taxes.

20% requested increase in FCPS central office funding? I must be punch drunk this morning and not reading this correctly. After buses being stuck in floodwaters, bus routes being cancelled daily due to driver shortages, a DOJ investigation into cognitively impaired children being harmed in basically two schools, and an $800K payout just approved for a "retirement," the LAST thing needed now is a 20% increase in FCPS central office funding. Get those dollars out to the front lines, into the schools directly! This 20% basic FCPS overhead request is appalling. It may be a small funding pot in the realm of the entire budget, but it clearly shows priorities are still way out of whack, even with Markoe now running the place.

Who on God's green earth is driving the priority analysis within FCPS? A drunken sailor? How much grant funding is being applied for and secured, YOY? What other funding sources are being researched and taken advantage of besides just asking for more taxpayer dollars, year after year after year? Where are YOY efficiency analyses being done and what is being funded more efficiently YOY, instead of just working off of baseline increases? What is being done faster, cheaper, more efficiently and more effectively, so that funding can be reprogrammed, rather than just constantly asked for more of?


Typical bureaucrat. Balance your budget first & we'll take it from there.

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