It totals mroe than $532-million.
A fiscal year 2014 budget was adopted Wednesday night by the Frederick County Board of Education. It totals $532.697,117, and is considered maintenance of effort funding, which means the school system is receiving about the same amount it was appropriated for the current fiscal year. It also contains $15-million to fund step pay increases for eligible teachers and other employees.
Board members Brad Young and April Fleming Miller voted against it. They wondered where the Board of Ed will find the $15-million to pay for step pay increases. "The Board and FCPS advocated to the Commissioners. We held rallies, and the BoCC did exactly what they told they were going to do. So what was our response? We voted to go ahead to spend the $15-million not knowing where we were going to get it from," he said.
Young was concerned that the Board of Ed was raiding the Other Post Employment Benefits fund, which is getting $3-million in FY '14.
The Commissioners have said they were only going to fund maintenance of effort for fiscal year 2014.
Board Vice President Joy Schaefer voted for the budget. "I find the things that we are funding targeted investments for our school system. Targeted investments to meet student needs. I choose with my vote to reinvest in our resources, our people being the largest resource that we have to meet student needs," she said.
Some citizens have said that the Board of Education has not invested in its employees over the past four years, noting that many have gone without cost of living increases. Board member April Fleming Miller took issue with that. "We have reinvested in our resources," she said. "Since I have been on the board, there has not been one year that nothing has been offered to our employees."
Board Member Dr. Zakir Bengali had hoped that the Commissioners would fund the school system at more than maintenance of effort. He told Commissioners' liaison Billy Shreve "You can fund above MOE," Bengali said. "How do you pay for it," asked Commissioner Shreve. "The economy is on the rebound. You have a surplus in your budget," Bengali responded.
Even though the School System's operating budget is maintenance of effort, it does contain $9.6-million more than the current spending plan.
In addition to the operating budget, the School Board approved its capital budget for fiscal year 2014 which totals $44,540,215. The Board of Ed ratified contracts for the Frederick Association of School Support Employees, and the Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association.