To address a FY 2016 budget shortfall, the Carroll County Board of Education voted to eliminate 56 positions during a meeting held this week. Another cost cutting measure was to eliminate the ninth-grade sports program. However, members voted against that proposal.
As reported by the Carroll County Times,
Although the initial recommendations from CCPS Superintendent Stephen Guthrie included the elimination of the ninth-grade sports program, the board decided to keep the program. However, they might raise the annual fee by $5 for participants to fund the program in the future. All sports programs, including varsity, junior varsity and freshman programs, have a $100 annual fee per student, or a $140 total fee per family.
Cuts in the adopted budget include the elimination of 50 full-time equivalent teacher positions that will be empty once 75 teachers retire as part of a retirement incentive plan. There will also be a reduction of six full-time equivalent positions by combining crisis intervention counselor positions with dropout prevention specialist positions.
The reduction of 50 teacher positions will save the school system about $3 million.
Carroll County is allocating $169.5 million to the school board in its FY 2016 budget, $10.5 million more than the state requires through Maintenance of Effort. The school board is still hoping to receive additional state funds.
Although the board adopted the budget, Gov. Larry Hogan has yet to release the other half of Geographic Cost of Education Index funding, which allocates additional money for jurisdictions where the cost of providing education is more expensive. Carroll would gain about $1.2 million if the GCEI funding is released.
If these state funds are not released, the school board plans to use fund balance to make up any shortfall.