Prince George’s interim superintendent revises budget; at $1.7 billion, it grows by $7.8 million
By Ovetta Wiggins,
The Prince George’s County school system will provide additional resources for a program that allows principals to decide how money is spent in their schools and offer a greater investment in compensation for teachers under a revised spending plan submitted Wednesday night by interim Superintendent Alvin Crawley.
The new budget proposal, at $1.7 billion, is $7.8 million more than the one Crawley submitted in December.
The additional money is due to a projected increase of $15.5 million in state aid, Crawley said. In the proposal offered Wednesday, Crawley asked the county for $627 million to support the budget, which is about $7 million less than it currently contributes. But he said Thursday that he is in talks with the county, and those numbers may change.
“Stay tuned,” he said.
The current year’s budget is $1.6 billion.
Crawley asked the board to add $1 million to the student-based budgeting program, which gives principals more say in how money is spent in their schools, raising the total to nearly $412 million for fiscal 2014.
The proposal also includes an additional $5 million for compensation for teachers; $1 million for tuition reimbursements and $3 million to adjust salaries when employees receive advanced degrees. The school system is currently involved in negotiations with the teachers’ union.
“We are going to have challenges if we don’t make adjustments to our compensation package,” Crawley told the board.
In addition to the increase in the overall budget, Crawley suggested reducing some line items from the 2014 fiscal budget. For example, he has cut $1 million from school security and $6.6 million from agreements to pay off some lease purchase items. Crawley said the school system will be able to pay the $7.6 million for those two initiatives this fiscal year, rather than having to spend the money next year.
The school board on Tuesday will hold a public hearing on the budget. It is scheduled to adopt the budget Feb. 21. The budget is scheduled to be submitted to the county executive March 1.