Story Category: The Bay Net Exclusives »
Calvert School Board Approves its Budget
Prince Frederick, MD - 5/11/2012
By Marty Madden
The Calvert County Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously Thursday, May 10 to approve its fiscal year (FY) 2013 operating budget and to submit it to the county government. The $111.9 million spending plan is nearly $4.5 million more than what the county is currently proposing. The current proposed FY 2013 budget being considered by the Calvert County Commissioners contains a plan to provide local funds for Calvert County Public Schools at the state-mandated maintenance of effort level.
Calvert County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jack Smith has repeatedly contended that the maintenance of effort figure will not be adequate. The superintendent has recommended a letter be sent to the county commissioners reminding them that Calvert’s public school system is one of the nation’s best.
“We are an efficient system but we are not going to be able to perform at the level we have,” said BOE President Rose Crunkleton, who added school officials should “brag a little bit more” in their letter to the county commissioners.
Smith pointed out the school system was still facing cuts in state funding, future challenges to bear a significant portion of the burden for retired teachers’ pensions and employs a workforce that has not had a pay boost in a few years. The superintendent said providing county funds that only measure up to the maintenance of effort level “will have an effect on every single program.”
School board Vice President William Chambers said the county commissioners could be ushering in an era of mediocrity should they fail to adequately fund the system. “They [commissioners] are embarking on the perfect storm,” said Chambers. “It will take multiple years for the damage to be corrected. Cutting the budget is not the solution.”
“We are at the top in Maryland and Maryland is at the top of the nation,” said Smith. “We are in jeopardy of losing our accomplishments. We have to be vigilant.”
Smith noted the BOE officers—Crunkleton and Chambers—have met with the commissioners’ board officers and other county government officials regarding the proposed FY 2013 operating budget. “We’ve made a good case for what we need and why we need it,” Smith said.
The superintendent admitted a special session of the Maryland General Assembly could change the school system's funding picture. That session is scheduled to start next week and will focus on the state's FY 2013 operating budget.
The county commissioners will conduct a public hearing on its proposed FY 2013 budget Tuesday, May 22.
Contact Marty Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment On This Story!
Send This Story to a Friend!