Carroll County Public School Superintendent Steve Guthrie told Patch Thursday he is “very concerned” about the number of staff cuts the school board had to make to , which was approved this week.
Guthrie said the board had to cut about 46 positions for fiscal year 2013. That brings the total to 150 over the last five years. Declining revenues to Carroll County has meant a lower-than-expected county contribution to the school’s budget.
While the county has been able to maintain its teacher-student ratio, Guthrie said what is lost is “resources to help teachers,” such as staff development workers, custodians and clerical workers.
“That does have an effect on the teachers,” he said. “While the number of teachers in front of students is the same, the resources the teachers have has declined.
“I’m very concerned and the board is very concerned as well in the number of positions we’re losing.”
The following is an edited transcript of Patch’s Q & A with Guthrie:
Tell me about the budget that was approved last night.
It was an estimated $327.7 million operating budget approved last night. The operating budget [pays for] day-to-day activities: lights, benefits, transporting students back and forth. … also [it] covers technology within the school system [and] payroll, staff, and all the things we do day-to-day.
How much money will the schools get from the county this year?
$164.9 million. Carroll County puts out a five-year operating budget. Until the final budget is approved, we have to use last year’s [projection.] It was $168.3 million, or a $4.9 million increase over this current year. Now, what happened, was the county revenues dropped; that number changed, and I don’t fault anyone for that number changing, simply because the revenues weren’t there. We had to cut $4.7 million, and the board did that last night.
How many staff positions will be eliminated?
Starting in July, we will be down [about] 46 positions that the board eliminated. Some of those were filled positions; some of those were vacant.
Does that mean some people will lose their jobs?
It did mean some people lost their jobs. It was one or two, most was through vacancy or attrition.
I want to give you an opportunity to highlight what you are proud about in the fiscal year 2013 operating budget.
For first time in four years, our [eligible] employees will get some kind of salary enhancement [between 2.5 and 3 percent], and we did not cut any instructional programs for students.
Anything else you wanted to add?
I would thank the commission, the majority who voted to give us an increase of $1.4 million over last year in the county’s contribution to education.
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