Dorchester District Two is hoping to present a persuasive case to County Council on May 19.
The projected budget for DD2 has been prepared and presented by Director of Business Services Allyson Duke on multiple occasions; the most recent presentation was delivered during the third and final public input meeting on May 13 at Knightsville Elementary.
Slight changes have been made to the budget so that it has improved, but not greatly, said Duke. The budget has been adjusted to fit a projected student growth of 600 students as opposed to the originally anticipated 500.
There has also been changes to EFA student weightings, most of which have decreased. This brings the total revenue for the district to be estimated at $165,737,514 as opposed to the $165,240,205 reported in April.
Total expenditures remain at $166,491,063, making the budget $753,549 in expenditures over revenues. That number was originally $1,250,858.
Millage increases allowed by state law could reel in more money for the district, but according to Duke, there has been no millage increase for operations since fiscal year 2010-2011. A millage increase would not be to homeowners.
Duke will present the budget to County Council at 5 p.m. on May 19. “I’m at a loss of how we’re going to make our case this year,” she said.
Should the school find additional funds the district has a list of what it would like to spend all of it on.
At the top of the list include: eight school security officers in remaining unmanned elementary schools – $280,000; a rate increase for non-certified subs and special needs shadows to $70 per day (an increase of $10 per day) – $300,000; 10 additional teachers ($65,000 each for salaries and benefits - $650,000); a one-percent Step increase for all other employees to include classified and administration - $300,000; and an additional one-percent increase in teacher salaries - $900,000.
Discussion during the public input meeting included board members asking attendees to push for PTA participants and district parents to come to the county council meeting. If the district does not come into more money, Superintendent Joseph Pye said the district will “have to make some hard decisions” with its spendings. “The children in our district always come first.”
Nobody from the public provided input in the meeting but Duke said she would like to think that is because people are satisfied with the district’s decisions thus far. She is optimistic people will come and support DD2 during the presentation. “I feel like we’ll have some people there at County Council,” she said. “It’s just that we’d like to have a balanced budget.”