Talbot County Board of Education Proposes $1.9M in Cuts

The Talbot County Board of Education  has proposed to cut 21 staff positions and a number of programs to save the school system an estimated $1.9 million from the FY 12 operating budget. According to The Star Democrat, the school system has been funded $1.8 million below the state’s maintenance of effort calculation by the Talbot County Council, in turn creating a budget deficit for the Board of Education.

The school board’s proposed cuts include 12 teachers, three support staffers and six mid-level administration positions. The proposed staffing cuts total $1,475,717.

Instructional positions include teachers; support staff includes maintenance, transportation and secretaries; and mid-level administration positions include school principals, assistant principals and school managers.

The school board said additional cuts would include the elimination of the entire summer school program and all non-educational extracurricular activities, excluding athletics. TCPS also would institute “pay to play” for all athletic programs, which would require students to pay a fee to play a sport. School board members have not determined how much the fee would be for students.

The additional cuts would total $490,110. If the school board chooses to eliminate positions in order to meet their FY2012 budget, they would have to pay about $125,000 in unemployment costs.

Talbot County Council reduced school system funding $1.8 million below the state’s maintenance of effort calculation, which would require a jurisdiction to maintain the same per-pupil funding year-to-year. The county council maintains, as many jurisdictions in the state do and the Maryland General Assembly tried to clarify in the 2011 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, that MOE is not legally mandated and counties are legally required to fulfill the local portion of the foundation program.

For Talbot County, the local portion of the Bridge to Excellence (sometimes called “Thornton”) foundation program would be about $31.7 million. The council’s proposed FY12 budget includes $32.4 million for schools. MOE would be $34.2 million.

While the county council appropriates funding to the schools, balancing the school system budget is the responsibility of the Board of Education, based on funding provided by the federal, state and county governments.

For additional information, please read the article here.

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