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School Board releases statement on “inaccurate” information presented by Board member Wayne Foote

February 2nd, 2017 by WCBC Radio

In a recent interview with WCBC radio, Allegany County Board of Education member, Wayne Foote, made several inaccurate statements, listed below:

 

1)      The Board had to use $4 million of fund balance to cover the health care costs.  The correct amount is $3.7million.

 

2)     The Fund balance is currently down to $2.2 million.  The current anticipated fund balance is approximately $3.4 million.

 

3)     The Fund balance is predicted to go lower.  Although the Board has budgeted $274,114 of fund balance for the current fiscal year, it expects to not draw on this, and post a positive variance at the end of this fiscal year.

 

The School Board voted in December 2016 that the budget for FY 2018 should not include any revenues from the fund balance.  Furthermore, beginning in FY 2015, the School Board had effectively ceased using fund balance to supplement its operating budget, reporting a positive variance at the end of that year.

Due to a $3.7 million over run in health care costs during the 2016 fiscal year, the School Board had to utilize fund balance to cover this "emergency" expense. Corrections have been made to employee health care plans, with the input from and collaboration with bargaining units in the 2017 budget to address this concern. To date, costs are trending lower than budgeted.

Mr. Foote has also implied that fund balance should be used to fund salary increases.  This ongoing cost is simply not sustainable since an increase applied to pay scales becomes an ongoing cost, which is not feasible.  

Board of Education President, Laurie P. Marchini stated, "Inaccurate representation of the financial situation of the school system creates unnecessary confusion for the staff and for the public, in general.  Accurate budget and fund balance information is available on the ACPS website and discussed in great detail in the budget video.” She went on to say, “Although the decrease in revenue and continued maintenance of effort funding creates very real financial challenges, the system is not, as some report, in financial ruin. 

Mrs. Marchini continued, “Budget is indeed a continued concern. We are down more than 230 positions. Our teachers and staff are wearing multiple hats, being asked to do more with less, and taking home less pay for their efforts. It is also very disturbing that some people, including folks within our own system, create rumors that hurt the same people and children we are entrusted to serve.”

               

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