At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Garrett County Board of Education, the fiscal year 2016 budget was adopted by the Board. This year’s budget was approved with special consideration given to the funding request of the Garrett County government. The Board of Education was able to assist local government with its fiscal crisis by reducing its operating funding request by 1% from the prior year or $258,949. This reduction was made possible, in part, by the legislature providing additional state funding of $206,911 over and above funds originally provided within the Governor’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget. The increase in state aid marks the first time state aid has increased for the school system since fiscal 2009.
While the operating budget for the school system increased by 1.15% or $586,931 from the prior year, those increases relate to specific funding requests. Facility funding requests for Aging School, Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, and Project Open Space funds for one-time projects accounted for $277,000 of the increase over the prior year. Another increase from the prior year relates to restricted Judy Hoyer grant funding, which will make 60 additional pre-kindergarten seats available within the district. Prior to this grant, funding for the pre-kindergarten program limited participation to 100 students across the system. “This grant will allow the district to further impact Kindergarten readiness of students within the district and allow for better academic outcomes for all students,” said Dr. Janet Wilson, Superintendent of Schools.
The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) submitted to the county has been revised and includes projects totaling $3,599,200. Once the Board of Commissioners take action on the CIP, any necessary adjustments to the Board of Education’s CIP budget request will be made, and the budget will be adopted. Additional budgetary information can be attained from the school system’s website: https://www.garrettcountyschools.org/ .
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