Prince George’s budget shows focus on schools and health – NBC4 Washington
The new budget for Prince George County, Maryland, emphasizes education and health, with less money earmarked for police and public safety.
“The awareness of this budget is really about focusing on the people,” said Prince George County Director Angela Alsobrooks.
She said the county’s $ 4.6 billion budget for fiscal 2022 sends a clear message.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that economic development is great, but human development is our goal, and so this budget, I think, speaks to our real interest in really building the people of this county,” she said.
The Board of Education receives a raise of $ 64.4 million, the highest in recent history. This money should be used for salary increases for teachers and for the construction of new schools.
“We have a very deserving CEO of the school system,” Alsobrooks said. “They’ve worked really hard during this pandemic, and we’re confident they can use what we sent there well, but you’re right, it’s a big part of our budget – 62% of the county budget. supports education.
There is also an increase in health funding with an emphasis on mental health resources.
“This budget has given us the opportunity to address many of the disparities and inequalities that have been discovered in this pandemic,” Alsobrooks said. “So we made significant investments in building the county’s health infrastructure that had been underfunded for decades.”
But public safety has seen big drops: $ 44.2 million for the sheriff’s department and $ 12.8 million for the police department. Prince George County police have lost nearly 400 officers over what they had authorized, according to the police union. The ministry cannot find enough recruits to replace the agents it loses.
The county executive said that while other parts of government now have this money for public safety, it is not a carry-over of police funding.
“We meet the needs of our residents, but so do we – I want our residents to know that when you call the police and you want them to answer, they will be ready to respond. They will have the funding they need, the training they need, to be able to respond, ”said Alsobrooks.
Prince George County Council passed the budget this week. It comes into force on July 1. Police departments across the country are having difficulty recruiting. Half a million dollars is spent on this effort in the county budget, and it’s a priority for the new police chief as well.