As is the case with many counties, Charles County faces budget challenges for the year ahead – with the level of school board support being the largest number on the table.
From an editorial in Southern Maryland Newspapers Online:
It’s been a tough start on the budget front for elected officials on both the Charles County commissioners’ board and the Charles County Board of Education. This is perhaps some of the most important work these officials will do this year. They are facing some tough decisions while cobbling together their financial plans, seeing a reduction of state monies and deficits in their budgets.
The school system has requested a 7.1 percent budget increase this fiscal year. Since state funding will be limited, the schools are requesting a $20.6 million increase for teacher and staff salary increases, health care costs and money to run the new St. Charles High School.
We can probably expect the teachers union to encourage its members to attend the public hearing and address the commissioners directly about the school system’s budget. The cuts to the capital budget have proven to be unpopular with many members of the business community. It’s likely the commissioners will hear from some business leaders, too.
What is happening in Charles County is taking place in jurisdictions all over the state. That is to be expected. Maryland has a new governor at the helm who promised to make changes and cuts when he took office. Add to that an economy that has yet to recover fully, and they equal tough budget decisions.