January 17, 2007
After four months of preparation, Superintendent of Schools Pam Moran unveiled her proposed $149 million budget.
The funding request from the Superintendent of schools represents over a five percent increase from last year. As has been the focus of the school system over the past several years, competitive teacher salaries is one of the main objectives.
The Superintendent's proposed budget includes a six percent raise in teacher salaries and a half million dollars towards technological improvements. After receiving almost $2 million less than expected from the Board of Supervisors, Moran had to cut several programs including an initiative to hire four math specialists countywide. The Superintendent says the budget is always a delicate balance.
"What we are trying to do is to deliver on our promise to our taxpayers that we have a balanced budget. We are trying to deliver to our teachers that we are going to put the resources behind their work with students that they need. I believe we are trying to build the partnerships that help us leverage resources," said Moran.
The County Board of Supervisors has the ability to return that $1.8 million to the School Board if they so desire. That decision would cause the list of programs deemed unfunded initiatives to become part of the budget.
This is just the beginning of budget talks here at the County Office Building. The School Board will have two more work sessions before a public hearing on January 31. They are expected to present a board approved budget to the County Supervisors on February 7.
The final County budget is expected to be voted on some time in April.