School board plans vote as hearings end on budget

February 18, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll school board members today will get a summary of all comments on the proposed $131 million fiscal 1995 school budget before they vote Thursday on a final draft that will be sent to the county commissioners.

The second of two public hearings was held last night at Piney Ridge Elementary School in Eldersburg.

The board will adopt a budget, possibly with revisions, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Friendship Valley Elementary School.

Two possible revisions could be the addition of eight instructional assistant positions, so that every kindergarten in the county will have one, and the addition of money to meet bus contractors' increasing operating costs.

Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said he would recommend those adjustments, based on comments by bus contractors and one parent at a public hearing Tuesday in Taneytown.

"If the community feels we should be putting more into the budget, now's the time to say it," Mr. Shilling said. "This is the staff's budget."

Susan Sanner, a Piney Ridge kindergarten teacher, and Teri McLeod, a parent of a child in her class, supported putting assistants in more kindergarten rooms.

"I volunteer in my son's class," Ms. McLeod said.

The children are more focused when volunteers are in the room assisting the teacher and giving children individual attention, she added.

Jean Nortrup of Sykesville, a mother in the new Parents of Gifted and Talented Children, said the budget is shortchanging the 400 students in the Extended Enrichment Program.

"This program is woefully inadequate to meet the special educational needs of this identified group of children," Ms. Nortrup said.

School administrators have proposed to the Board of Education an 8.53 percent increase for 1994-1995. Of the requested $131 million, $74 million would come from the county, and the rest from state and federal sources.

Much of the increase is to accommodate an expected 868 new students next fall, an increase of 3.82 percent over the current enrollment of 22,701.

About $6.6 million of the new money would be spent for negotiated pay raises and benefits increases for approximately 2,400 employees.

Another 47 teachers will be needed next year just to cope with growth in the student population, officials said.

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