Additional revenue enables school district to restore some proposed cuts
The Prince George's County Board of Education has approved a FY2012 budget of $1,614,358,600. While the reconciled budget is $10 million beyond the requested budget of $1,604,338,445, it still falls $73.8 million short of the original proposed budget for FY2012.
“This was a very difficult budget year,” said Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., Board of Education Chair. “Providing a quality education for students remains our top priority, and we commend our staff for working diligently throughout the budget development process to identify additional cost savings, revenue sources, and ways to streamline services.”
Revenue funds for the FY2012 budget include $874 million from the state, $618 million from the county, $111 million from the federal government, and nearly $12 million from the Board of Education. Fewer than 200 teachers and 300 non-teaching staff members will face layoffs this year.
“As a result of the school district’s retirement incentive program and administrative cuts, the number of classroom teachers impacted has been significantly reduced,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of Schools. “While we faced very difficult decisions as a result of our budget shortfall, we were able to preserve—to the greatest extent possible—our academic programs.”
To further help the school district close the funding gap, the Prince George's County Council provided the school system with $4.5 million to add six additional Head Start sites and help restore funding for specialty program transportation, the Reading Recovery program, the Schmidt Outdoor Education program, and staffing at the Howard B. Owens Science Center.
Additionally, the reconciled FY2012 budget includes reallocation of funds to accommodate the state retirement and pension system’s new administrative fee (estimated cost of $2.2 million) and costs for sharing non-public residential placement of students (reserving $1 million).