The vote was 4-3.
The Frederick County Board of Education approved a $523,087,640 budget on Wednesday. The vote was 4-3. "I haven’t seen a perfect budget during my years on the board," said Angie Fish, board president. "There are certainly issues with this budget, as with all budgets, because money is obviously not in endless supply," continued Fish.
The fiscal year 2013 budget includes $7-million dollars to put into a salary resource pool to give employees a payraise. Those salary increases are expected to kick in in December.
One of the Board of Ed members who voted "no" was Brad Young. He says he’s concerned that the school system is relying too heavily on revenues it hopes to get next year. "If, in fact, our revenue estimates don’t come in where we think they are next year, or the state doesn’t come through with the funding, like they almost didn’t this year, what we’re going to be in is position of making commitments for salaries and not being able to fund it," he says. And that could lead to dire consequences. "We’ll have to reduce our workstaff or let employees go to balance our budget next year," Young says.
40 media assistant positions were cut. "That was one of the painful parts of this budget," said Fish. Funds were provided for a charter school and employee pay increases, and class sizes were kept to a minimum. "I believe this was the most responsible and the best budget that could have been developed given the funds that were allocated to the school system."
The board also approved its nearly $12.2 million capital budget for fiscal 2013, which includes funding for Lincoln and North Frederick Elementary Schools. They also approved the purchase of a portable restroom trailer for Urbana Elementary.