School officials were assuming they wouldn't receive any state aid for 2011-12. But after losing all their aid a year ago, state officials reinstated a fraction of the aid this week.
Schools Supt. James Crisfield said this week there are no plans to reinstate the $4.7 million in cuts made to the proposed 2011-12 school budget. Instead, the money should be used to further close the reported $6.5 million gap between expenses and revenues. Crisfield said the cuts already made were done to make things efficient and consistent with guidelines and policy, but he is nervous about the $2.2 million cut in capital projects and repairs.
The school board has yet to have public deliberations on the tax rate, and school officials have been assuming a 2 percent increase. It would be the maximum increase allowed under state law. Incidentally, the state aid would cover lowering the increase to 1 percent.
How do you think the increase in state aid should be used?
Should some of those cuts be reinstated? And which ones? Should the money be used to prevent further cuts to close the gap? Should it be used to keep the tax rate below a 2 percent increase?
Last week we asked you about the school calendar. School officials have presented a calendar for 2012-13 that would eliminate most of February break. Vacation would be two days with the remainder of the week being half days. It's an attempt to have school end before June 28. We asked you what was more important—February break or ending school on June 21. Of those who answered, 58.7 percent said ending school on June 21 was more important and 34.8 percent said February break was more important.
The school board is scheduled to vote on the 2012-13 school calendar during its meeting Monday at 7:45 p.m. at the Education Center.