School Board's budget request examined by commissioners

April 17, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

Members of the Washington County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon with the Washington County Board of Education to discuss the school system's budget request.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said the meeting stemmed from last week's news that the School Board would get extra money under a state education funding plan approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger asked whether the School Board's request to the county for a budget increase of $5.8 million might drop to about $3.6 million because of the state money.


But School Board member Roxanne R. Ober said the board's operating budget request to the county is unchanged.

Ober said the new state money is not intended to help local governments meet the School Board's requests, but to help districts meet other needs, she said.

Under the state plan, Washington County's public schools are guaranteed a minimum of nearly $12 million by 2007-08 and should receive as much as $23.1 million in state funding by then.

Under the plan, the School Board is to receive $2.2 million in the 2003 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The county's tentative budget for the coming fiscal year allocates $69.7 million for the School Board for operating expenses, more than $4 million less than the School Board requested.

The commissioners said they wanted to meet with the School Board before voting on a tentative adoption of the county's annual budget.

The commissioners probably will adopt a tentative budget on April 23 and then take it to public hearing.

The county budget proposal would give the School Board about $1.4 million more than the $68.3 million the county provided for the current budget year.

The county is seeking ways to eliminate a $83,361 budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year. The commissioners will be presented with proposals at the April 23 meeting on how to take care of that shortfall, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

The county must present a balanced budget at its annual budget public hearing, scheduled for May 7 at 7 p.m. at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

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