$118 Million County Budget Ok'd

Schools Get Extra Aid

Teacher Raises Unlikely, But Furloughs Rescinded

April 29, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff writer

School system employees have little hope for a raise as negotiationsshift into high gear this week, but they have escaped the furloughs imposed on them earlier this year.

The county commissioners voted 2-1 yesterday to give the Board of Education another $2 million to make up for a state cut to the $8 million transportation fund in the 1993 proposed budget.

In the same vote, they turned down the board's request for an additional $1.6 million toward negotiating pay raises and replacing other state cuts.

Julia W. Gouge, who cast the dissenting vote, said she felt the schools could have found another $1 million in their $112.28 million budget so the county would not have needed to use so muchof its reserve fund.

"All of the issues were valid issues," Gougesaid of the school board request. "I just objected to us funding allof it."

The other two commissioners said the transportation request was the most important one because it was for maintaining existingservice. But they did not feel pay raises were needed.

"We don't have any money for salary increases, and I don't think the school board does either," said Commissioner President Donald I. Dell.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy originally had not favored giving back the money cut from school and county staff for taking furlough days. But he said the compromise was the county did not give the school board the $1.3 million it requested for pay raises next year.

"Whether you call it spinach or apples, $700,000 is $700,000," he said of the amount needed to restore the furlough cut to the 2,000 school workers.

School employees were scheduled to take two days without pay this year, but budget cuts weren't as severe as anticipated. The school boardvoted last week to restore that pay, and the commissioners yesterdaydid not use their power to overrule that vote.

Most school employees have taken the first day and had the pay cut from their checks. They will have the opportunity to recover the lost pay by working an extra day after students leave, said Superintendent R. Edward Shilling.

Shilling said the school board probably will schedule a special meeting in mid-May to adjust the budget for state cuts the commissioners did not cover.

For example, $254,000 was to replace state cutsin paying private school tuition for Carroll children whose special needs can't be met by county schools.

Shilling said the schools are legally obligated to provide those services to the children, so money will have to come from somewhere else for those costs.

Likewise, if the board negotiates pay raises with staff, it will have to get the money from elsewhere within its $112.28 million budget for the 1993 fiscal year.

The other cuts were $88,000 from driver education and $50,184 from pupil services including adult general education andthe external diploma program.

Lippy suggested cutting driver education from the public schools, as has been done in some neighboring counties. Baltimore County schools offer driver education, but charge tuition for it, Shilling said.

Lippy said there was little choice on whether to make up the transportation cut. Of Carroll's 22,000 students, 91 percent ride buses. The distance limit for taking a bus is one mile for all grades, but many students who live within a mile of the school ride a bus because conditions for walking aren't safe, said James Doolan, supervisor of transportation.

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