News Briefs for Public Schools - Southern Maryland Headline News

News Briefs for Public Schools


Calvert County Public Schools Begins Budget Development for 2015-2016

As Calvert County Public Schools begins the budget development process of for fiscal year 2016, the system is faced with cutting $2.6 million from FY 15 expenditures to balance the budget. The operating budgets for FY 14 and FY 15 both included over $2 million each year from the fund balance, which means the system operated in a deficit posture for two years.

Dr. Daniel Curry, Superintendent of Schools, said he plans to make significant budget reductions to eliminate deficit spending and provide raises for employees. He said, "Our goal is to reduce current spending by $5.6 million for FY16. This will allow us to provide funds for employee raises and still live within our means."

Several factors impact the school system's budget, including student enrollment, state funding, local appropriation, provisions of staff contracts and the shift of teacher pension costs from the state to local governments.

Enrollment has dropped by nearly 2,000 students from a high of 17,468 in 2005 to a projected count of 15,642 in 2015. The official September 30 enrollment count will be released by the Maryland State Department of Education in the near future. Although the Calvert Board of County Commissioners has consistently exceeded the statutory maintenance of effort requirement, the school system receives $1,275,000 less from the state than it did in 2012.

The costs for healthcare benefits in employee contracts have more than doubled, from approximately $15,000,000 in FY 2004 to $33,000,000 in FY 2015. The cost trend for FY 2016 through FY 2020 reflects projected costs based upon a 5% annual increase to conservatively illustrate the impact of continued increases in health insurance costs over the next five years. This trend shows that health insurance costs will exceed $42,000,000 by 2020. This represents an increase of more than $9,000,000-approximately 27%--over the next 5 years.

Plans to reduce expenditures include a 5% reduction for all schools and departments, as well as a review of staffing in all areas.

Chesapeake Public Charter School (CPCS) Open Enrollment Moved to December

The CPCS Open Enrollment will now be held in the December time frame. Two parent information sessions will be held on December 2nd and December 11th for prospective families. The applications will now be accepted online and in hard copy between Dec.1 and Dec. 31. The lottery will be held in January with parents being notified of their status in February.

The decision to move the application and lottery process back to December will help facilitate the calculation of the estimated PPA (Per Pupil Allocation) in the February time frame and will also provide families with their wait list or entrance status earlier, allowing them to make informed decisions about the upcoming placement of their child.

The Chesapeake Charter School Alliance Governing Board approved this change in policy on November 13, 2014.

Partners for Success Workshop Announced

The St. Mary's County Public Schools' (SMCPS) Partners for Success will present a workshop entitled Increasing Social Flexibility Part 1 on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. at the Central Administration Building, Board of Education Meeting Room, 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

The SMCPS Community Promoting Academic and Social Success (COMPASS) Team will present strategies that will help parents and teachers increase a child's 'Social Flexibility' (their ability to change routines and 'go with the flow') that may ultimately transfer to their understanding of social situations and their social skills. This is a 2 part series. Parents and teachers are welcome to attend one or both of the workshops on this subject

This workshop is free, but registration is required. To register, please contact Susan Shannon at 301-863-4069 or email partnersforsuccess@smcps.org.

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