But members voted down a request to add $300,000 to a program to help kids with dyslexia.
In a 5-1 vote Wednesday, the Frederick County Board of Education approved its fiscal year 2020 budget. The spending plan totals more than $609-million, and has a $19.8-million deficit. The budget now goes to the County Execute who will draft her own spending plan with allocations for the public school system.
Prior to the decision on the budget, the Board of Ed voted down a proposal to add $300,000 to a program to help students with dyslexia, discalcullia and disgraphia. The program already has an annual recurring amount of $500,000.
The motion to add the money came from Board Member Liz Barrett. She said the money is needed to do more for children with learning difficulties. Barrett said there are 282 students identified with dyslexia, and that’s not consistent with national averages, which means more screenings and resources are needed.
Last week, the School Board heard from students with dyslexia, discalcullia and disgraphia and their parents, who asked for $300,000 additional for a program for children with learning difficulties.
But Board of Ed President Brad Young says the school system staff has not come forward with requests for additional funding for students with learning difficulties. His colleague, Karen Yoho, said she didn’t want to appropriate this extra money if, later on, the Board of Education needs to remove it.
The vote turnig down this request was 2-4 with Barrett and Board Mike Bunistsky voting in favor.
Barrett cast the lone “no” vote against the budget when it came up for a vote.
County Executive Jan Gardner is expected to release her budget on April 15th. The County Council will hold hearings on the budget, and needs to take a vote by May 31st, or the County Executive’s original budget goes into affect.
By Kevin McManus