MACo Winter Conferene Panel Discusses School Budgeting

Preparing and funding a school system’s budget has always been a complex task. However, recent Maintenance of Effort (MoE) changes and the transfer of a portion of teacher pension costs has added to the budget challenges, and created new administrative challenges with the categorization of expenditures and the completion of forms.  This panel provided a glimpse of the budgeting perspectives of the State’s overseeing education agency, the State Department of Education, a school board’s chief finance officer, and the county budget officer.

Deputy State Superintendent Steve Brooks, Maryland State Department of Education, spoke first to provide the State perspective on education funding, process and other changes due to the MoE law, and the completion of necessary forms. Tom Kappra, Chief Finance Officer, Cecil County Public Schools, discussed the building of a school board’s budget and the challenges faced at the local level.  Mr. Kappra also discussed the importance of developing positive relationships with the county’s elected officials and the community at large.  Elaine Kramer, Chief Financial Officer, St. Mary’s County, spoke of the broader challenge of preparing a county’s budget while meeting education funding mandates and best practices for working with the school board to identify recurring costs and other cost savings.

Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine moderated this session.

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