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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Budget Clarification

The County Council has to provide us with $82.1 million (4.7%) more for FY 2012 than last year to meet Maintenance of Effort. This would be $10,664 per student.They said they weren't going to do that.

Governor O'Malley's proposed budget includes a $37 million increase in state aid on top of the original $27 million increase, resulting in a projected $64 million increase in state aid this year. Part of O'Malley's increased state aid covers our loss of ARRA funds this year.

As of now, the County Council has not confirmed that they will provide any of the additional $82 million in funding. If we don't get this $82 million, we'll have to eliminate step increases and delay funding retiree benefits ($34 million). We'll also have to make personnel/program cuts totaling $48 million.

This is where Dr. Weast's recently released list of possible budget cuts comes from. The items on this list total $48 million and 650 positions, and they give us an idea of what may have to be cut if the County Council doesn't give us the $82 million. These cuts aren't listed in any particular order, and are not recommended. You can find them here.

If the County Council doesn't give us the $82 million, we'll also face a penalty in loss of increased state aid of at least $22 million, totalling $104 million in lost funding. This will be extremely hurtful to the school system, and we can't let this happen.

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