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Panel advises step increases for WCPS employees for next fiscal year

The recommendation is contingent upon state pension costs not being passed down

March 15, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Board of Education's budget advisory group has recommended that if state pension costs aren't passed down to local school systems for the next fiscal year, the board should use part of the $5.2 million set aside for that purpose to give step increases to its employees.

"It is important to note that our employees received no salary increase in the current year," Stephen Hummel, chairman of the Budget Advocacy and Review Committee, told the school board at a meeting Tuesday night.

The committee includes business people, parents and school system employees, Hummel said.

He said a step increase would differentiate between employees who are hired during the next fiscal year and those who would have one or two years of experience but are now on the first step of their salary scales.

During the meeting, the school board did not comment on the committee's recommendation concerning step increases.

Later in the meeting, the board voted 7-0 to adopt a proposed $241.7 million budget to present to the Washington County Commissioners on March 29.

That's when the school board will ask the commissioners if they will provide money to replace school buses, Chief Financial Officer Chris South said before the meeting.

If the commissioners will not pay $1.74 million for 17 buses outside of the county's maintenance of effort, which is its obligated funding for the school system, a majority of school board members have informally agreed to use accumulated surpluses from past budgets to pay for the buses.

The budget advocacy panel is urging the commissioners to fully fund the school board's funding request, including the money for the buses, Hummel said.

The school board is asking for $91.25 million in county funding, according to the proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

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How they voted

The Washington County Board of Education voted 7-0 Tuesday to adopt a proposed budget to take to the Washington County Commissioners.


  • Wayne Ridenour — Yes
  • W. Edward Forrest Yes
  • Paul Bailey Yes
  • Donna Brightman Yes
  • Jacqueline Fischer Yes
  • Karen Harshman Yes
  • Justin Hartings Yes
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