In a special meeting held on June 2, the Talbot County Board of Education approved the school district’s operating budget for the 2021-2022 school year in the amount of $60,374,913.
The Talbot County Council passed the FY2022 Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance on May 25, 2021. This provided Maintenance of Effort (minimum funding) for the schools plus $281,198 in additional funding to continue all-day Pre-Kindergarten and provide for an instructor for the new Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Career and Technical Education program.
The school district’s March 31, 2021 amended budget request in the amount of $61,565,510 had already reflected a reduction of $2,000,000 from their original request. At its June 2nd meeting, the board made the necessary $1,190,597 in additional cuts through cost reductions, purchases prepaid in FY21, and costs shifted to grants. Now this approved budget will go to the Talbot County Council for final approval.
School District officials affirmed their commitment to the priorities outlined by parents through the annual budget survey, which included maintaining lower class size, competitive pay for staff, social-emotional learning, updates to curriculum and technology, and increased security.
“We passed a needs-based budget tonight that had been cut by more than $3,000,000 from the original requests made by school principals, teachers, and other staff,” said Board of Education President Susan Delean-Botkin. “These requests were based on their most basic needs. We have accepted this budget in hopes that in the future we can better provide for the growth and development of all of our students and staff.”
“We are planning and budgeting for a full return to school with the implementation of the new Strive for 2025 strategic plan,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools. The plan reflects feedback received from parents surveyed, which encompasses four major areas of opportunity after the completion of the 2020 Vision Strategic Plan:
- Recruitment, promotion, and retention of staff
- Academic equity and achievement
- Early childhood learning readiness for success
- Social and Emotional Learning Support services
“We are grateful to our community for their support of our students and staff as we continue our commitment to provide the best education possible for all of our students and prepare them to graduate ready to advance to college or a career,” Dr. Griffith added.