Dr. Griffith and the Talbot County Public Schools Senior Leadership Team presented a revised proposed budget to the Board of Education at their February meeting.
The original FY23 Budget of $64,260,434 presented in December, reflected a total increase of $3.8 million from the FY22 budget. This increase addressed staff salary increases and fixed charges, reinstatement of field trips, four new bus leases, special education nursing services and transportation increases, 5.5 new positions, and technology upgrades.
At their January meeting, the board approved an amended total budget request of $64,704,706, having added $444,272 to their original draft budget to support needs for Gifted and Talented, afterschool programming, mental health resources, and the Blueprint Implementation Coordinator. They also approved adding $1.8 million for athletic turf fields to the capital budget request.
The Maryland State Department of Education subsequently notified TCPS Administration of three possible funding scenarios, the most likely being an increase of $6.7 million in “local share” funding from Talbot County and an increase of $858,000 from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to address the directives in the mandated “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.” Key elements of this are the requirements that teacher salaries be increased by 10% between FY19 and FY24 and starting teacher salaries be increased to $60,000 by FY27. One day prior to the February 9 board meeting, TCPS administration was notified that their actual local share would be reduced by $4.8 million from the previously estimated funding. This reduction brought the total projected FY23 revenue down to $63,924,658, which was $780,048 less than the January 2022 proposed budget.
TCPS Administration reviewed the entire FY23 budget yet again to find additional adjustments, which included moving expenses to grant funding, salary savings due to retirements, and prepayment of fixed charges. Dr. Griffith then presented additional budgetary recommendations to meet the expectations of the Blueprint requirements as well as to address the needs resulting from discontinued grants.
Following deliberation, the Board of Education approved a final budget request in the amount of $66,340,267. “Putting students and teachers first is the top priority for the Talbot County Board of Education,” said Ms. Susan Delean-Botkin, Board President. “The Board worked diligently with Superintendent Griffith, Mrs. Sarah Jones, and TCPS Senior Leadership to craft the FY 23 budget for our school district.”
“TCPS is poised to take advantage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Maryland HB1300) by investing in our teachers, our support staff, and our educational programs. This budget will pave the way for the successful future of Talbot County,” Ms. Delean-Botkin added. “We are very pleased with the success of some of the new CTE programs we have invested in such as the NJROTC and CNA programs, and look forward to creating more opportunities for TCPS students.” The board-approved budget request will be presented to the Talbot County Council on March 1, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.