School board OK's part of Neall plan Budget control to be enhanced

December 17, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

The Anne Arundel County school board last night adopted part of a plan proposed by County Executive Robert R. Neall to give the board more control over its own budget, but would require it to pay $5.1 million toward the county's cost of employer withholding for Social Security taxes for teachers this year and next.

But board members voted 5-2 to pay the money only for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Board member Thomas Twombly and student board member Jay Witcher voted against the proposal. Then the board voted 5-2 to work with Mr. Neall on a plan for fiscal 1994.

Mr. Neall sent a letter to all board members and Superintendent C. Berry Carter II informing them of his desire to work with the board on "developing a methodology for the development of future Board of Education operating budgets."

In his letter, Mr. Neall agreed to work with the board on determining a fixed amount of county money for education, allowing the board to decide how to use any increases in grants from federal and state agencies and allowing the board to keep any savings from its own management efforts.

The budget flexibility Mr. Neall offered the board was contingent on the board following his recommended payment option for dealing with the social security plan local systems must now handle as a result of the state's most recent budget reconciliation act.

Mr. Neall's plan calls for the board to pay three installments of nearly $5.1 million to the state to cover the social security payments.

The first payment would come through the state's APEX increase for local school systems next April. The remaining payments would be offset from local income tax distribution on May 30 and June 30 of 1993.

Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County president Thomas J. Paolino said he did not understand why the board of education had to pay any of the cost for social security since the county executive had said he could cover the cost on his end.

"Mr. Neall said he could handle the cost shifting on his end of the budget," Mr. Paolino said. "Now we're hearing he is not going to handle the entire cut on his side of the budget. "It hardly sounds to me like he's handling it."

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