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WCPS budget adjustments to pay for helmets, carts and cameras

Washington County school board also to use savings to pay for outdated musical, theater and athletic equipment

June 10, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

New football helmets, carts to carry laptop computers around schools and cameras to mount inside school buses are some of the items Washington County Public Schools is buying this fiscal year as part of budget adjustments.

The schedule to replace the helmets and carts was accelerated, and several requests by managers for supplies, rather than equipment, were granted by transferring $751,390 for instructional textbooks and supplies, according to third-quarter budget adjustments the Board of Education unanimously approved Tuesday.

School system officials overestimated the cost to educate incarcerated students, an amount that, due to a 2011 state law, must be reimbursed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, Chief Financial Officer Chris South said Tuesday. As a result, that line item was reduced by $184,392. Some of those savings are being used to replace outdated musical, theater and athletic equipment, according to a presentation document for Tuesday’s board meeting.

The student transportation services budget received $290,837 for the increased cost of diesel fuel, cameras for school buses and getting started on adding a new bus wash system this fiscal year rather than waiting until July, according to the document.

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The cameras are for buses that don’t have them or that need additional cameras, school system spokesman Richard Wright said Monday.

Other highlights from the budget adjustments include:

  • $725,000 to move up the schedule for several deferred maintenance projects
  • $103,595 more than expected in tuition payments for students from Allegany County, Md.
  • $300,000 to expand wireless Internet access in schools
  • $672,142 in salary savings due to turnover, vacant positions and ending the Teacher Leadership

Responsibilities Program
  • $82,745 in special-education salary savings due to turnover and vacant positions
  • $458,429 in savings in energy and snow removal because of the mild winter
  • $72,794 savings in contracted legal fees
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