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Posted October 8, 2012 | comments 12 Comments

Frederick County: More than half of surplus could go to schools

By Kim Walter

On Wednesday, the Frederick County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing regarding an adjustment to the 2013 fiscal year budget in the amount of $3.9 million. The funds represent a portion of the county's budget surplus from fiscal year 2012, during which about $8 million more in revenue was collected than budgeted.

County staff has requested that the board split the funds between the county's general fund and the school system. The split of those funds would result in the school division receiving $2.2 million.

County Administrator John Riley has suggested that the county's share of funds be used for a 3 percent supplement to county staff, and to address equipment needs throughout county departments.

While it is up to the school system how it's share of the funding will be spent, the division's coordinator of communications, Steve Edwards, said he anticipates that "the school board will give consideration to using the school division's share of the funds for a 3 percent bonus for FCPS employees."

"That would mirror the recommendation Mr. Riley has made for county government employees as well as what state employees are expected to receive later this year as a result of the state's budget surplus," Edwards said Monday.

However, the one time supplement for school system staff would cost $2.4 million, and the supervisors finance committee has endorsed a request by the school board to carry forward $1.1 million in unspent money from its operating fund. The school's surplus was reported to the school board at its meeting on Aug. 20, and it was suggested to be spent on several projects and departments throughout the school system.

If the $2.2 million is approved by the Board of Supervisors to go to the school systems at Wednesday's meeting, the school board could determine as early as Oct. 16 how those funds will be utilized, Edwards said.

"Regardless of the action taken [on Wednesday] the school board remains committed to addressing salaries and benefits in a way that can be sustained," he added.

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com

12 Comments | Leave a comment

    I'd like to see Valley Healths budget?

    Schools provide a vital community service - educating our children. If the county has a surplus, there is no more worthy enterprise than the public school system. Children who are currently being educated are those who will be care taking us in our senior years. This is money well spent!!

    Return the money to the TAXPAYERS from whom it was taken in the first place. More money for schools is throwing money down a rat hole.

    Return the money to the TAXPAYERS from whom it was taken in the first place. More money for public schools is throwing money down a rat hole.

    Of course the first thing to do is give everyone more raises! Why not give a tax break tot he taxpayers? It's not the county's money but the taxpayers. Take the surplus and help the elderly with fuel, food and housing. But no.....let's spend it on raises for the school teachers and the county employees.

    Hey John Riley, take some of that surplus and pay your deputies the money you owe them! Then give your other employees a much needed bump in pay. Start appreciating the underpaid and underappreciated.

    I guess putting it in savings and keeping it for an emergency would be completely unheard of?

    " . . . a request by the school board to carry forward $1.1 million in unspent money from its operating fund."

    The school board ALREADY had a surplus of $1.1 MILLION from last year!!!! But yet they were complaining.

    This just goes to show that they don't know where or what their 'budgeted' funds are spent on.

    Just because there is a surplus DOES NOT mean they should just keep it. IF there is a surplus, that means they REALLY didn't need it in the first place.
    But taxpayers do need it to 'pay' their bills as I'm sure 'they' (the taxpayers) NEVER really have a surplus.

    I find it hilarious that the county can't fund it's Fire and Rescue dept due to insufficient funds - then ends the year with a surplus. So even though the county has money in the bank they are going to start charging for ambulance rides. The school system sure can't manage itself - it has it's own surplus - so we give them more. What kind of (mis)management is this? Give it back to the people who paid the taxes and let them decide how to spend the money they EARNED!

    We need TABOR!

    As a teacher in Frederick County who has not had a raise in 5 years and puts in 8-10 hours a day planning, attending meetings, and educating students, I feel a raise is due. So many teachers, including myself, have earned Masters degrees in order to better ourselves as educators, and our student loan debt exceeds our yearly income. Many, including myself, have picked up second and third part-time jobs to make ends meet. Everything else around us is going up, but our pay has been the same for years now. This is the reason for so many teachers going to Loudoun County and other nearby school divisions that pay better. Education is imperative to the success of our community and society as a whole. All professions start with a good education, and it's time the community recognizes that.

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