The Office of Finance is one of the most diverse and, consequently, a unique Office within the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Unlike other Offices, the primary functions and responsibilities of this Office combine administrative services to students, schools, school systems, and the community as well as to the staff and Offices within the Department.
The Office of Finance is comprised of six Branches and two Offices that are collectively responsible for developing and implementing MSDE administrative and financial policies, procedures, and systems. This includes budget, accounting, administrative services, and financial reporting and coordination. Also within the Office’s responsibilities is the oversight of the operational activities of school and community food and nutrition programs, pupil transportation, and school facilities.
- All Branches and Offices within the Office will work seamlessly together to facilitate the smooth operation of the State Department of Education by providing optimum administrative and support services.
- The citizens of Maryland will benefit from the effective operation of nutrition programs, pupil transportation, and school facilities;
- Ensure our customers, internal and external, comply with all federal and State laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines within the vast scope of our services.
What We Do
The Immediate Office of the Chief Operating Officer is responsible for the guidance, management, and coordination of the services provided by this Division. In addition, this position advises the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education on the financial implication or proposed courses of action, coordinates and reviews proposed budgets and financial plans as a basis for recommendations to the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, reviews financial activities on a Department-wide basis to evaluate adequacy and effectiveness of financial systems relative to the needs of MSDE, coordinates data collection and publication of the annual Fact Book, and coordinates Departmental efforts related to fiscal elements of school system Master Plans.
The Director of Business Services manages the daily operations of the six Branches within the Office of Finance, which include the Accounting Branch, the Administrative Services Branch, the Budget Branch, the School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch, the Program Finance Coordination Branch, and the School Facilities Branch. In addition, this position serves as the primary liaison between Business Services and the Chief Operating Officer in areas related to internal and external audits, MSDE facilities (including security measures), information technology, and human resources.
The Accounting Branch is responsible for accounting and reporting all funds appropriated for use in the operation of MSDE. In this regard, this Branch develops and recommends policies and procedures relative to financial and cost accounting that are designed to ensure MSDE is in compliance with all applicable State and federal accounting and reporting requirements. This Branch is also responsible for the initiation of monitoring activities that are designed to detect possible financial problems and to recommend corrective courses of action. In addition, this Branch is responsible for providing regular and Special Payments payrolls, controlling inventory, and transmitting authorization to the Comptroller’s Office for payments to vendors for various services and goods.
The Budget Branch is responsible for developing and recommending policies and procedures for the formulation and execution of MSDE budgets. Some of the responsibilities of this Branch include, but are not limited to, preparing the Headquarters, Aid to Education, Funding for Educational Organizations, Subcabinet Fund, and Capital budgets; calculating the Mandated Formula Aid for Schools and Libraries; preparing, negotiating, and implementing the Department’s Annual Indirect Cost Plan; advising and assisting Divisions and Offices in preparing and executing the Department's budget documents; and performing fiscal analyses of MSDE operations and programs.
The Administrative Services Branch is a bifurcated Branch with diverse responsibilities. The Administrative Services Section is responsible for providing support services to the staff of the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building (the State Education Building). These services include the operation of several areas: the fleet management program, mail services, central duplication services, the central stores services, the main receptionist desk, and the solid waste recycling program.
The Procurement, Grants, and Contracts Section is responsible for interpreting and applying laws, regulations, and guidelines promulgated by the State, MSDE, and the Branch; maintaining liaisons with all regulatory agencies regarding every aspect of the Branch’s responsibilities; managing leases of parking spaces for eligible staff; and administering the Risk Management Program in coordination with the State Employees Risk Management Administration.
The Financial Reporting and Coordination Branch is responsible for providing administrative and financial direction in support of educational program functions. This entails providing integrated fiscal support services to the Office of the State Superintendent and several Divisions within the Department; providing grant management and financial training to MSDE staff; and reviewing program financial documents prior to their submission to the Budget, Accounting, and Administrative Services Branches.
The Local Finance Reporting Office is responsible for developing, collecting, reviewing, evaluating, editing, reporting, and publishing local schools systems financial data. It administers the automated financial reporting system (the Annual Financial Report and Grant Reporting System) to serve the purpose of answering State and/or federal surveys in the form of special projects or reports. This office also administers compliance with Maintenance of Effort requirements (MOE) under the Bridge to Excellence, makes determinations on eligibility for Nonrecurring Cost exclusions from MOE calculations, and provides support to the Master Plan review process. The responsibilities also include providing guidance to the 24 Maryland school systems’ staff regarding accounts classification and grants reporting procedures; assisting the school systems’ staff to ensure reporting deadlines are met; administering the usage of the Grant and Annual Financial Report System by providing training to users of the system; and compiling, reviewing, and publishing the annual Selected Financial Data on the MSDE website.
The Pupil Transportation Office is responsible for developing and implementing statewide policies, procedures, and plans related to all aspects of transporting students to and from public schools as provided by State and federal laws and the bylaws of the State Board of Education. The responsibilities also include providing technical assistance for training school bus drivers; coordinating activities with the Motor Vehicle Administration; researching and developing data concerning finance and legislation; and maintaining databases for drugs and alcohol, and school bus driver accidents.
The School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch is responsible for administering the programs available under the National School Lunch Act, the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, the amendments to these Acts, and related State laws requiring nutrition services in schools. The programs are available to public and nonprofit private schools, residential child care institutions, child and adult day care centers, centers serving homeless children, summer camps, family child care homes, organized summer programs, after-school care programs, charitable institutions, and the elderly who meet the established criteria. Also among the responsibilities of this Branch are researching and developing data concerning finance and legislation related to the various nutrition programs; providing training and technical assistance for teachers, children, food and nutrition service personnel, administrators, and others operating nutrition programs; providing leadership in reaching the objective of maximizing nutrition programs; and analyzing nutritional content of meals served in various nutrition programs.
The School Facilities Branch is responsible for providing leadership and technical assistance to Maryland’s 24 school systems and the Maryland School for the Blind with regard to long-range facility planning; capital improvement program development; educational specifications; and the design, construction, and maintenance of school facilities. This Branch administers the review and approval of locally funded school construction projects and leases by the State Superintendent of Schools. This Branch is responsible for developing guidelines and standards for the planning, construction, and maintenance of school facilities. The Branch conducts the periodic Facilities Assessment Survey of all public schools in Maryland and assists with the development of capital projects for the Department.
This Branch is a part of a multi agency program, the Interagency Committee on Public School Construction (IAC/PSCP), established under the Board of Public Works to provide State funding for school construction. The members of the IAC are the State Superintendent of Schools who serves as Chair, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning, the appointee of the President of the Maryland Senate, and the appointee of the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates.