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School board approves Garrett County budget for fiscal 2013

State action somewhat eases impact on employees

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The Garrett County Board of Education’s fiscal 2013 budget includes fewer cuts to school employees than the draft budget, some of whom were able to be brought back with the $1 million-plus from the state Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, according to Charlotte Sebold, board president.

The board approved the $50 million budget at its business meeting earlier this month. Salaries, which make up 58 percent of the budget, are down $1.9 million for fiscal 2013 compared to salaries from this year, according to the budget.

Also, administration and mid-level administration expenditures, which combined make up 7.9 percent of the budget, are down by $64,963 for 2013 compared to fiscal 2012. Administration includes the activities associated with the general regulations, directions, and control of the Garrett County Public Schools and are generally those types of expenditures that execute educational or financial policy and affect the system as a whole, according to the budget.

Administration expenditures include board services; superintendent’s office; business support services; research, evaluation and information; human resources; and data processing services. Mid-level administration includes the administration and supervision of district-wide and school-level instructional programs and activities. Mid-level expenditures include the office of the president, Career & Technology Program Direction and Instructional Program Direction and Improvement.

The closing of Dennett Road and Kitzmiller elementary schools will save the board an anticipated $1.4 million, according to the board’s five-year plan. The Parents for Garrett County Education has filed an appeal with the state board and the county had until Wednesday to respond. If the schools were to reopen, the board would be $1.4 million short for fiscal 2014, interim Superintendent of Schools Sue Waggoner told the Times-News in May. Waggoner was unavailable to comment Wednesday and Thursday.

Some residents were concerned about transportation congestion. Students who attended Dennett Road Elementary will attend Yough Glades Elementary, which will become the special education center. Students who attended Kitzmiller will attend Broadford Elementary.

The fiscal 2013 operating budget calls for $55,000 in transportation upgrades at Southern Middle School, Broadford and Yough Glades.

The goals of the fiscal 2013 budget are to support and maintain educational programs, services and facilities; maintain staffing levels to support educational programs and services; and fund the approved capital improvement program.

The largest portion of the county’s fiscal 2013 budget allotted $26,023,714 to the board. That amount includes $664,714 to fund the teacher pension obligations, which was offset by a like amount from the state.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com

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