Charles County Approves School System Budget, Pending Union Approval

Charles County Commissioners approved last week a school board budget of $334.18 million that will provide cost of living adjustments and merit increases for school system employees. The pay increases are pending approval by the  Education Association of Charles County and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,

School officials report that the $334.18 million budget reflects a 2.1 percent increase over the last fiscal year, and that the county is providing an additional $4.2 million to cover $948,348 for teachers’ pension costs and $3.25 million in general operations; state funding increased $640,512 over fiscal 2015.

Among other items, increased budget expenditures totaling $14.24 million include $3 million for health care costs, $1.49 million for recurring costs to St. Charles High School, $955,800 in teachers’ pension costs and $480,000 for bus contracts.

Also included is a step/level salary increase for all eligible school system employees, accounting for $4.4 million in expenditures. The budget also funds a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for employees with teaching certificates at levels 20 or 10 and a 1 percent COLA for support staff on steps 17 and higher, together costing $1.12 million.

The school system plans to use fund balance for capital projects and general fund operations.