Funding education has been an explosive topic in Carroll County for the past several months, heating up the past few weeks as education forums and town halls have been held all over town by both the Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners.
In FY13, the county funded the school system at $164.9 million. The Board of Education is requesting $166.6 million from the county for FY14, a $1.7 million, or approximately one percent increase over FY13.
During last year's budgeting session, the commissioners allotted $164 million for school funding in FY14.
Then, there is the required state minimum funding level, or Maintenance of Effort (MOE). With declining enrollment in Carroll County schools, projected to continue for the next several years, some argue that the county should fund the school system at MOE. If funded at MOE, the school system would receive county funding in the amount of 160.9 million, a decrease of $4 million from FY13.
Advocates of fully funding Superintendent Guthrie's proposed budget point out that the school system has already made $20 million in cuts over the past five years and 155 jobs have been cut. Guthrie said in a recent meeting that his proposed budget does not address what the school system needs, just what will fulfill some of the state and federal mandates that have been neglected in the past few years.
Those that advocate for funding the school system at less than the proposed budget and MOE say that the economic crisis is being felt everywhere and the school system should make cuts just as other organizations, businesses and government entities are doing.
So what do you think -- how do you want your Carroll County Commissioners to fund education for FY14? Tell us in comments or weigh in on our poll.
Want more information? See these related articles:
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- School Superintendent Says Proposed Budget 'By No Means Represents What We Really Need'
- School Superintendent Says of Budgets: 'We are at a Tipping Point in our School System'
- O'Malley Rolls Out $37.7B Budget Proposal
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