Carroll schools brace for loss of $2.47 million Budget cut plan to be unveiled at meeting tomorrow

December 08, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Teachers are not expecting furloughs to be part of the budget-cutting plan, but school officials are mum on how they will trim $2.47 million from their $113.6 million budget -- until the Carroll County Board of Education meets at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

The meeting will be at the school offices in the Courthouse Annex, 55 N. Court St. in Westminster.

County educators have known since September they would have to trim at least $2.47 million once the state legislature met to determine cuts in local aid.

The General Assembly voted late last month to stop paying the portion of employer Social Security costs that the state traditionally had carried for teachers, librarians and community college professors.

That saved the state $147 million, and pulled a total $4.7 million from Carroll County.

Last week, the county commissioners announced that schools would lose $2.47 million, equal to 53 percent of the $4.7 million in cuts. The school budget makes up 53 percent of the county budget.

In anticipation, principals and other supervisors responsible for spending non-salary money have been under orders to use no more than half of the money allotted to their school or department until further notice, said William Hyde, assistant superintendent for administration.

Mr. Hyde would not say whether the administration will recommend distributing the burden evenly across several budget categories, or whether whole programs might be eliminated.

Teachers hope furloughs won't be part of the proposal tomorrow, as they were last year. The furloughs mandated for school and county staff last year were later rescinded.

"Certainly we're of the opinion that there should be no furloughs or salary cuts," said Harold Fox, the director for the county teachers union. "The feeling we've been getting back is, that's not their [board members'] intention, either."

But Mr. Fox said he has no official word that staff members are safe from furloughs, and Mr. Hyde won't say yes or no. "To date, in any of the plans we've done, we've not included furloughs," Mr. Hyde said. But he said he could not rule them out even for tomorrow's proposal.

In addition to saving on non-salary items, the schools have frozen several positions that were originally written into the budget. Mr. Hyde estimated those savings at about $540,000.

Many of those frozen positions were not needed because the schools got about 100 fewer new students than anticipated, Mr. Hyde said.

Mr. Hyde said he expects the board will go ahead in March with plans to hire a principal, secretary and building supervisor for the Runnymede Elementary School under construction between Westminster and Taneytown.

The policy has always been to hire those people six months before a new school opens, he said.

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