It now heads to the County Commissioners.
The fiscal year 2014 budget proposed by Frederick County Superintendent of Schools Theresa Alban was approved Wednesday night by the Board of Education. The spending plan totals $548.4-million, which is 4.8% more than the current spending plan.
"In my proposed budget, we were asking for $15-million above maintenance of effort in order to support the three priorities we had heard from the public," says Dr. Alban. She says those three priorities are recruiting and retaining quality staff, upgrading technology in the schools, and improving security and safety in the county's classroom buildings.
The budget now heads to the County Commissioners, who make the final decision on how much the School System receives. The Commissioners have said they don't plan to go above maintenance of effort when it comes to providing funds for the school system. That's where the public schools receive not much more than what they received in the current fiscal year.
Despite that, Dr. Alban is hopeful. "At this point, they have indicated in that their current budget, they are considering maintenance of effort. But they have time before they get to their final numbers as well. Hopefully, based on what they hear from the public, they will make the decision they feel they have to make for the county," she says.
The current Board of County Commissioners have been criticized for trying to short change public education, but they insist they have been fair when it come to funding and support for the school system.
The Commissioners will make their own proposals regarding the budget, and will hold their own public hearings on their proposed spending plan.