St. Mary's Schools Petition Commissioners for $3 Million - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Schools Petition Commissioners for $3 Million

$1,455,992 for textbooks. Maybe it's time to look at Open Textbooks and Open Courseware

LEONARDTOWN, Md.—The St. Mary's Board of Education was set to act in a special meeting Wednesday evening to make a request from county government for an additional $3 million for new science text books and technology upgrades.

According to the special agenda the school system from kindergarten through the 12th grade has science textbooks that date from 1998 and even older.

These older text books would not serve the system well since students would be faced with new science achievement standards for the coming school year.

The school system is projecting that it would take $1,455,992 for a complete textbook upgrade.

In addition to the text books the school system wants to continue with technology upgrades for high schools, to the cost of $1.5 million. This is in addition to the technology upgrades that are already going on at the elementary school level, according to information from the school system.

In all the text books and the technology upgrades would cost $2.97 million.

School Board Member Daniel Carney said the request was needful but it would not increase the amount of money the county commissioners would be required to provide each budget year.

"We're asking that they forward fund that request," Carney said. "It's a one-time excludable cost."

Each year the commissioners are obliged by state law to fund schools by at least as much as the previous year; this is called maintenance of effort.

The money would come from the commissioner's fund balance, Carney said.

Commissioner Todd Morgan said the request was not unexpected.

"Every year their priorities seem to change," Morgan said. "They've always come in with huge requests."

He warned that the commissioner's reserve was not limitless, despite the importance of funding education.

"We don't have a reserve where the school board gets use most of it and the rest of the citizens don't," Morgan said. "There's never been enough for the board of education."

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