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School Board proposes cuts

June 06, 2000|By TARA REILLY

The Washington County Board of Education has proposed slicing $900,000 from its fiscal 2001 general fund budget, in part by eliminating instructional positions through attrition, reducing staff development funding and cutting two positions at the central administration office, Board Finance Director Christian South said Tuesday.

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Cuts are needed to make up for the $1.8 million under-appropriation from the Washington County Commissioners, South said.

The proposed general fund budget, without the cuts, lists spending at $118 million.

The School Board expects to save $428,395 by eliminating instructional positions through attrition. A 50 percent cut in staff development funding would save $112,500 and the elimination of two positions from the central office would save nearly $99,000.

Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett said that cutting instructional positions should have a minimal effect on learning because the board has created 112 instructional positions in the last two years to even out the pupil-teacher ratio.

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"It's less than three-tenths of one position," Bartlett said. "The 112 has really made a good impact on the pupil-teacher ratio.

Other reductions would include modifying the Summer Leadership Institute, adjusting work hours to reduce custodial overtime, postponing three preventive maintenance projects, cutting back on transportation costs and making administrative changes in the Job Development Center and Marshall Street School.

Teachers, administrators and supervisors would still receive a 4 percent pay raise, making teachers eligible for an additional 1 percent raise Gov. Parris Glendening has pledged. Education Support Personnel Local 1 would receive a 2 percent raise plus a longevity adjustment.

On May 30, the County Commissioners agreed to give the board an additional $379,000, bringing the total contribution to $64.3 million, South said. The board asked for $66.1 million.

"I would say it's a big hit. There's no question." Theresa Flak, assistant superintendent of instruction, said.

The School Board will hold a work session next Monday at the central administration building from 4-6 p.m. A special meeting will follow at 6 p.m. for adoption of the budget. The public may attend.

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