School sys­tem in­creases state fund­ing es­ti­mate by $2.3M

Public rec­om­mends names for new el­e­men­tary school

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­

Charles County Public Schools is ex­pect­ing an ad­di­tional $2.3 mil­lion from the state than orig- in­ally es­ti­mated for the next fis­cal year, de­creas­ing the amount the school sys­tem is ask­ing from the county.

Dur­ing a Jan. 23 public hear­ing and work ses­sion on Su­per­in­ten­dent Kim­berly Hill’s pro­posed Fis­cal Year 2018 bud­get, Randy So­tomayor, as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent for bud­get and fi­nance, said the school sys­tem is now look­ing at an in­crease of ap­prox­i­mately $3.9 mil­lion from the state over last year’s fund­ing level of $166 mil­lion, based on Mary­land State Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion di­rect aid al­lo­ca­tion es­ti­mates, re­leased Jan. 20.

Orig­i­nally, the school sys­tem’s pro­posed $364 mil­lion bud­get in­cluded an in­crease in state fund­ing of $1.6 mil­lion, but So­tomayor said that num­ber was a con­ser­va­tive place­holder un­til firmer fig­ures came down from the state.

Cor­re­spond­ingly, the school sys­tem has re­duced its county re­quest by $2.3 mil­lion to $188.6 mil­lion. The school sys­tem was orig­i­nally re­quest­ing $20.3

mil­lion over last year’s county fund­ing of $170.6 mil­lion.

“This bud­get pro­posal is based on pre­lim­i­nary rev­enue es­ti­mates,” So­tomayor said.

The board is ex­pected to vote on the bud­get dur­ing its Feb. 14 meet­ing. The bud­get is sched­uled to be sub­mit­ted to the county Feb. 28. The Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers has a public hear­ing on the bud­get sched­uled for May 9.

The school sys­tem also re­ceived an up­date on con­tract bids for the new el­e­men­tary school be­ing con­structed on Billings­ley Road.

At the Jan. 10 board meet­ing, Steven An­dritz, direc­tor of plan­ning and con­struc­tion, said that the low­est bid re­ceived for the con­struc­tion was ap­prox­i­mately $5 mil­lion higher than the $30 mil­lion bud­geted for the project.

An­dritz told the board that ad­di­tional fund­ing was found through bal­ances on pre­vi­ous projects and ad­di­tional county fund­ing, al­low­ing the project to move for­ward.

An­dritz re­quested the board ap­prove award­ing the school con­struc­tion con­tract to Hunt­ing­town-based Scheibel Con­struc­tion Inc. for $35.8 mil­lion at the Feb. 14 board meet­ing. Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin in early March, An­dritz said.

No one spoke re­gard­ing the bud­get dur­ing the public com­ment phase, but three peo­ple spoke in sup­port of names for the new el­e­men­tary school.

At its Dec. 13 meet­ing, the school nam­ing com­mit­tee pre­sented the board with three fi­nal­ist names for the new school: Charles E. Car­ring­ton, a for­mer school board mem­ber, Ron­ald G. Cun­ning­ham, a for­mer deputy su­per­in­ten­dent, and Mar­garet Jamieson Thorn­ton, an early child­hood ed­u­ca­tor.

Chris­tine Mais re­quested the board name the new school af­ter Cun­ning­ham, with whom she worked as sec­re­tary and ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant for 17 years.

“He was a great lis­tener, he was a great ed­u­ca­tor, and loved to share his ex­pe­ri­ence as a teacher and as a prin­ci­pal,” Mais said. “Mr. Cun­ning­ham touched the lives of so many across the county. Many ad­min­is­tra­tors are still in­spired by his lead­er­ship.”

Mary Anne Cun­ning­ham, Ron­ald Cun­ning­ham’s widow, also re­quested the school be named af­ter her late hus­band.

“Ron had two loves in his life; his fam­ily, and his ded­i­ca­tion to ed­u­ca­tion. Ed­u­ca­tion was just the high­light of his life,” Mary Anne Cun­ning­ham said. “He truly en­joyed all as­pects of ed­u­ca­tion.”

Deb­o­rah Car­ring­ton re­quested the new school be named af­ter her late hus­band, Charles Car­ring­ton.

“Charles had a pas­sion for chil­dren, he had a pas­sion for life. He had a pas­sion for ev­ery­thing he did. He was truly an ad­vo­cate and role model for stu­dents. He loved his com­mu­nity and he lived to serve,” Deb­o­rah Car­ring­ton said. “He proved that you don’t have to be an ed­u­ca­tor or an ad­min­is­tra­tor to make a dif­fer­ence.”

Sup­port­ers of Thorn­ton spoke in her fa­vor at the Jan. 10 meet­ing.

The board is ex­pected to vote on a name for the new school at its Feb. 14 meet­ing.

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