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Frederick Co. Officials Discuss 2015 Budget Proposal

The Frederick County Public School Board and Frederick County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday to talk about the districts 2015 recommended budget proposal.
FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. - The Frederick County Public School Board and Frederick County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday to talk about the districts 2015 recommended budget proposal.

The FCPS board is asking local government for an additional $17.5 million more than the state required maintenance of effort funding in their 2015 recommended budget proposal.

School officials say the top three priorities of the 2015 budget are retaining and attracting quality staff, technology in the classroom and instructional resources.

"We will be getting slightly more [funding] next year from the State and that's based on student growth and we will get slightly more than the maintenance of effort from the county, and I do want to mention the request from the superintendent is $17.5 million more than maintenance of effort,” said Assistant Director of Fiscal Services for FCPS Leslie Pellegrino.

FCPS will be getting $4.5 million more from state government for the 2015 budget than they did for the 2014 budget. 
The Board of County Commissioners said at the meeting Tuesday they are nearly $13 million short in their own budget funding and funding anything over the maintenance of effort, which is $246 million, would be nearly impossible.

"This Board of County Commissioners will not raise taxes to achieve that goal we have to live within our means and this is going to be a tight budget year,” said President of the Board of County Commissioners Blaine Young. “They need to realize if they want to fund certain things they're going to have to figure out other things that aren't going to get funded, and their challenge is what every working family tuning in now faces.”

School officials are asking for the public’s feedback on the recommended proposed budget, which is more than $550 million. They say the next step will be to look at where they will need to make cuts.

"That means the board has to find $17.5 million of reductions because most of [funding] it comes from our local government and State, that means most of the time we’re going to look at cuts in the expenditure areas,” said Leslie.

School officials say they will vote on the recommended proposed budget on February 26, 2014 and then present it to county commissioners. Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the budget in May and make the final decision.

The school board is holding a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. at the FCPS administrative building on South East Street in Frederick.

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