The Baltimore school system could be facing a $60 million budget gap in 2021, CEO Sonja Santelises warned the City Council on Tuesday night, if state and local governments don’t come through with more funding.
Potential declines in state money, coupled with an anticipated increase in personnel costs and other new expenses, could contribute to the shortfall, according to a district analysis.
Still, Santelises said “I’m not at panic mode yet” because numerous funding questions still have to be answered by the time the district’s budget is finalized in the spring.
The school system in 2017 confronted a $130 million gap, but city and state officials rallied to secure an additional $180 million for Baltimore schools, which was doled out over the next three years. The infusion kept Santelises from having to lay off hundreds of people and it stabilized the district’s finances — at least for the time that money flowed.