Howard’s government and school system are joining forces to save taxpayers money by exploring cost-saving measures within the school system. 

County Executive Ken Ulman and Superintendent Sydney Cousin this week helped establish the Cooperation and Efficiency in Government Work Group.

“Broadly speaking, I believe there are areas where we can be more efficient,” Ulman said.

The goal is to avoid duplicating services, while also improving services, he said.

The county government and school system, for example, could work together on possibly combining information technology or maintenance resources, officials said.

The school system’s own grounds crew cuts the grass, but it might make sense for it to combine resources with the county’s Department of Recreation and Parks, Cousin said.

“In the end, it’s all coming out of the same pot of money,” Ulman said. “So the more we work together, the more we can benefit.”

Ulman said over 60 percent of tax revenue typically goes toward education, so it was even more important to consolidate resources when feasible.

“It’s looking for ways to do things quicker, cheaper and better,” Cousin said. 

“The school system is the biggest business in the county and takes the lion’s share of the revenue, so, it makes sense to do this.”

Council Chairwoman Courtney Watson said she thought the joint work group idea was a “wise approach,” and she looked forward to hearing the recommendations.

The work group, which will be comprised of county and school officials, will present a report to  Ulman and Cousin by Dec. 31 with the following:
  • A list of all the proposals reviewed;
  • An evaluation of those proposals with potential cost savings;
  • A recommendation for which proposals should be considered for implementation, and a suggested implementation plan.