Ocean City Today
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Proposed $108 million FY19 schools budget approved

Spending plan moves on to county commissioners, who fund 81 percent of expense
By Kara Hallissey | Feb 22, 2018

(Feb. 23, 2018) Worcester County board members approved a proposed budget of more than $108 million for FY2019 at their meeting on Tuesday.

County appropriations make up more than 81 percent of the budget and Worcester County schools will receive more than $19 million in state aid this year, which is a $33,367 increase from 2018.

The budget, which must be approved by the Worcester County Commissioners, includes more than $1.6 million in employee salary increases, which include step increases on employee pay scales and cost-of-living adjustments.

In addition, the budget shows an estimated 5 percent increase in insurance costs, $129,586 is estimated on payroll taxes from the salary increase and a $37,931 increase in retirement expenses.

Other areas of note include $48,664 to purchase seven new school buses, $42,000 for a 1 percent increase in hourly and mileage rates for bus contractors and $45,000 to cover transportation costs for athletics in the high schools.

One-time capital projects include $700,000 for a new athletic field at Stephen Decatur High School, $200,000 to replace outdated reading textbooks in the elementary schools and $75,000 to replace 30-year-old band uniforms at all three high schools.

In addition, $343,500 is requested to upgrade the energy management systems at Pocomoke and Stephen Decatur middle schools.

The county commissioners have also asked school system officials to contribute to post-employment pensions this year.

To make this happen, school officials have transferred $75,000 from instructional salary retirements. In addition, $1,231 was also transferred from textbooks and classroom supplies to fund the SkillsUSA program.

School board members will meet with the county on April 3 and the FY19 budget is scheduled to be adopted by the county on June 5.

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