Parent and community support for Caroline County Public School’s budget for the 2015-16 School year is greatly needed. Please come out and support the schools’ needs by attending the Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on March 24, 2015 at 7:30, in the Community Services Building.
At the School Board meeting held on Monday, March 16, 2015, the County Administrator’s proposed budget was discussed. The main topics of the discussion were that the proposed additional $330,000 from the county will not be enough to provide our teachers and staff with at least a step increase in salary. Also, that amount will not provide monies for the other needs of the school division to include much needed additional staff, the required pre-k match, instructional materials for students, much needed replacement of outdated technology, and professional development for teachers to meet new standards. Based off a projected ADM of 4200 students we will receive an approximate $142,277 from the State. The other monies that we will receive from the state are allocated for specific purposes or programs and cannot be used for salaries or the other proposed needs.
Using the $330,000 as proposed by the County Administrator we would have a shortfall of $102,214 if we give all teachers and staff a step increase; if given a 2.5% increase, the shortfall would be $250,956; and if we wanted to match the 3% increase that the County Administrator proposed for county employees, we would need an additional $395,603. Again, these additional dollars needed to provide our staff with appropriate cost of living adjustments does not help us with the monies needed for technology, instructional materials, professional development, much needed additional teachers, and pre-k matching funds.
The School Board voted unanimously last night to request an additional $1,212,203 in addition to the proposed $330,000. The additional monies would allow the School Board to provide a 3% increase for all staff and an additional $200,000 to increase the salaries of our bus drivers, teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians, maintenance workers, and clerical staff, all of whom are the lowest paid in our region; $395,603 would be used to match the county’s proposed 3% increase for all staff; and the remaining $616,600 would be used to provide additional staff, pre-k matching funds, instructional materials, technology, and professional development. If we truly believe that the children are our future and that the school division is a major part of economic development, then these monies would be a wise investment. These monies are extremely necessary in order to take Caroline County Public Schools to the next level.