Carroll County schools seek $298 million budget

January 11, 2007|By Arin Gencer | Arin Gencer,sun reporter

The Carroll County school superintendent unveiled a proposed $298 million operating budget last night, with nearly $3.5 million for new teaching positions and funding for the final phase of full-day kindergarten.

But the spending plan for the 2008 fiscal year does not take into account negotiations under way between the school system and its teachers, administrators and other employees, said Stephen Guthrie, assistant superintendent of administration.

Cost-of-living raises for employees are estimated to cost the system $1.8 million per percent of increase, with step increases adding $3.2 million, said Andrew Sexton, the district's new budget supervisor.

New costs, including personnel additions, set the proposed plan at about $12 million more than the approved funding of $287 million for the current fiscal year.

"We anticipate there will be more revenue reflected in February to adjust for the bargaining unit settlements," Guthrie said. "This is just the beginning."

Guthrie also said he expects the school system's budget to surpass the amount that the county government has projected.

Freedom District, Hampstead, Manchester, Mechanicsville, Runnymede and Sandymount elementaries would be the final schools to implement full-day kindergarten.

Funding for about 125 new teaching positions is sought in the spending plan.

Public hearings on the proposed budget are scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Parr's Ridge Elementary and Feb. 21 at Winters Mill High. The school board is expected to adopt the budget Feb. 21 after the second hearing, Guthrie said.

Once the board approves the budget, it will be presented to the Carroll County commissioners in early spring, Guthrie said. The final budget figures should emerge in May.

arin.gencer@baltsun.com

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