Garrett Commissioners Offer Plan to Keep Schools Open

As reported in the Capital Gazette,  Garrett County’s Commissioners are offering the county school system $2.2 million to avert the threatened closure of three elementary schools.

The commissioners agreed Tuesday give the school board the money subject to two conditions. One is that it drops any plan to close schools in next school year. The schools also would have to continue participating in a retiree health insurance plan that also covers workers from county government and Garrett College.

The Cumberland Times-News provides additional background and context, reporting

The [Commissioners’] conditions require that the school board discontinue all plans to close schools in fiscal 2015 and that the Garrett County Public School System remain an entity participant in the Garrett County Employee Health Care Coalition.

“It has been a primary objective of budget deliberations to develop a comprehensive funding model that will allow the Garrett County Public School System to keep all schools open,” said Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator. “The board of county commissioners is now at a point that this objective can be met.”

The school board has scheduled an emergency meeting Thursday to consider the offer, the Gazette reports.

For more information, see the full story from the Gazette and this article from the Cumberland News.