The Montgomery County Council yesterday rejected part of a school board plan that would have helped finance a 6 per cent cost-of-living raise for a school employees.
The school board had proposed taking $778,000 from the county's community schools program to help finance the cost-of-living boost. The program makes school facilities available to community residents after hours.
The decision means that the board will have to cut some other program or eliminate some jobs in order to provide the raise, said Supt. Charles M. Bernardo. Anywhere from 40 to 100 jobs might have to be cut, he warned.
The Council sustained school board actions that decreased the number of secondary school children eligible for busing the closed three schools (including Park Street, which the board closed yesterday). The actions were to raise the $3.6 million necessary to finance the difference between the 4.2 per cent cost-of-living raise the Council granted county and school employees and the 6 per cent raise that had been negotiated for school employees.
By a 4-to-3 vote the Council balked at approving funds transfer that would have resulted in increasing fees to community groups using schools and that would have ended the provision of such community services as recreational activities and adult education in the schools.
Voting in favor of the fund transfer were Council members Norman Christeller, Neal Potter and Esther Gelman. "Voting against the transfers is voting to take the cost-of-living increase out of the hides of kids," sawid Christeller.
"We've chosen, I think, to disrupt seriously the efforts of the school board to conduct their own business," Potter said.
The council members who voted responsibility of providing for the against the transfers said they had the whole community, not just the school students.
Going on the assumption that each agency is to dig this (a 6 per cent raise) out of its budget is not what we set out to do. . . . My concern is not just the community schools. My concern is the panorama that includes all the agencies," said Councilwoman Jane Ann Moore.