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Proposed shifting of teacher pension costs delays WCPS budget presentation

Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox says he is waiting for more information

February 07, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Tuesday he expects to present his proposed budget during the March 6 school board meeting.

At that time, a revised budget calendar also will be provided, Wilcox said. That calendar will include a new date for a public hearing on the proposed budget.

Last year, the superintendent’s proposed budget was presented in late January, and the public hearing was held on March 8.

The budget process is running behind this year as school system officials work to get as much information as they can on funding and expenses, Wilcox said this week.

The governor has proposed shifting some teacher pension costs from the state to the counties. It’s not clear yet how much of those costs could be passed along to the school system, Wilcox said after Tuesday’s meeting of the Washington County Board of Education.

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The school system also is waiting to hear more about maintenance of effort funding, Wilcox said Tuesday.
Maintenance of effort requires counties to provide school systems with at least as much per-student funding as the previous year. There has been discussion on the state level about changes to the maintenance of effort.

Speaking Monday about preparing his proposed budget, Wilcox said it would be important to know if negotiations with the unions that represent teachers and support personnel were complete.

T. Scott Miller, chief negotiator for the teachers’ and support personnel unions, said Tuesday that members of the Washington County Teachers Association had been sent a proposal to ratify, and he should have the results by Feb. 14.

Pay was up for renegotiation for the teachers for the coming fiscal year, while the school system is negotiating a new contract with the union representing support personnel.

Miller did not provide an update Tuesday on negotiations regarding the contract for support personnel.

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