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Commissioners attach catch to school board money

September 25, 1997

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

The Washington County Commissioners have agreed to give the Washington County Board of Education an extra $750,000 this year for capital projects, including a planned $13 million renovation and expansion of South Hagerstown High School.

But the funds come with a catch.

The commissioners tied the money to a demand that the school board work with the commissioners on a three-year plan for education budgets this year.

Commissioner James R. Wade said it didn't make sense for the school board to continue to present the commissioners with unreasonable demands in April or May.

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Wade said it made more sense for the county and school board to work together over the next few months on a three-year operating budget.

The school board had asked for an extra $1 million over the next two years to accelerate the South High project and a planned $4 million renovation of Clear Spring Elementary School.

Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers made the motion for the $750,000 in additional money at the commissioner's meeting with the school board Tuesday.

Bowers said by accelerating the projects the school board should be able to save an extra $250,000.

School Board President B. Marie Byers thanked the commissioners for at least partially funding their request.

But Interim Superintendent Linda Barkdoll said there might not be enough time to evaluate a response to a curriculum audit that pointed out several serious flaws in the county's education system and come up with a three-year budget by next year.

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