LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Dec. 13, 2007) - The St. Mary's County Public School system is undertaking some belt tightening to counteract budget shortfalls. The announcements were made by Michael Martirano, superintendent of schools, during Monday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education.
As part of the budget package passed by the General Assembly in November, state aid to local school systems will be scaled back by $152 million from what was expected under the Thornton plan, which mandates school-aid levels. Funding for St. Mary's has been cut by $4,185,400.
Restrictions on expenditures for the current fiscal year fall into two categories: short term and long term.
Short term restrictions include:
-- Close all schools/administrative offices from close of business Dec. 21, 2007, through Jan. 1, 2008.
-- Impose a hiring freeze effective Jan. 1, 2008. Critical vacancies will be filled.
-- Curtail/eliminate discretionary spending for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Long term restrictions include:
-- Maintain fidelity to the negotiated agreements as a priority.
-- Curtail/eliminate conference travel (some required as part of a grant).
-- Review all aspects of budget to identify areas of consolidation and savings.
-- Utilization of further energy conservation strategies.
According to Martirano, these expenditure restrictions are necessary to protect every classroom, allowing St. Mary's County Public Schools to maintain a high quality of instruction for all students.
Teachers, Schools, Counties Worry Over Cuts in State School Aid, Nov. 26, 2007