A hearing on the Frederick County School System's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget is coming up. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Terry Alban is urging citizens to come out and testify in favor of the request. "Your advocacy on May 6th would be a lot because until we start getting some additional funding into our schools, we're not going to be to doing any kind of program expansion," says Dr. Alban.
The budget hearing before the County Commissioners is scheduled for May 6th at Oakdale High School beginning at 6:00 PM.
The School System is asking for $548, 348, 808, which is 3.1% more than the current spending plan. Dr. Alban says her budget includes $13.7-million for salary and staffing resource pool. It also reflects $.3.9-million for the continuation of programs and services, including health and dental increases due to inflation, along with $0.6-million for a modest increase in enrollment.
Currently, the School System is operating under a maintenance of effort budget, which says whatever you paid per pupil in the prior year you have to fund at that samel level this year. "It's the minimal level you would want to fund," she says.
Dr. Alban says MOE isn't cutting it. "We've been receiving that same per pupil level for the last six years. So as you can imagine, that makes it very difficult to grow programs, new initiatives, because it doesn't include any kind of inflationary factor either," she says.
The County Commissioners have told the Board of Ed it will only be getting maintenance of effort for fiscal year 2015.
In addition, the School Board is asking for $6-million for technology upgrades. "The technology in our school system is getting very old," she says. "We have 31% of the computers that our students are working on are eight years or older; and 65% of those devices are five years or older." Dr. Alban says students need up to date technology skills in order to get into college and compete in today's job market.
The County Commissioners are expected to adopt their fiscal year 2015 budget on June 5th. The Board of Ed is scheduled to approve the School System's spending plan a few days later on June 11th.