The fiscal year 2011 budget which Harford County David Craig will submit Wednesday is set to decrease spending by 5 percent over last year’s plan and will include no furloughs and no layoffs for county employees, Craig said today.
The proposed budget will also include $2.7 million above the school board’s budget request “to be used by the board of education for employees.” The Harford County Board of Education had earlier sent a budget request to the county that included an across-the-board salary cut of nearly 2 percent for all school system employees.
Craig announced details of his proposed budget at a press conference in Bel Air. He is scheduled to send his proposed budget to the Harford County Council on Wednesday.
Craig said the additional $2.7 million for school employees came from savings within the county budget. County officials later identified the savings as the result of reduced personnel costs, including a retirement incentive accepted by 53 county employees, which will allow for some positions to be consolidated or eliminated.
The extra $2.7 million won’t be enough to fully reverse the salary cuts for school employees, which total approximately $4.8 million according to school officials. Craig suggested that if the school board could find matching funds within their budget, then no county or board of education employee would face furloughs or salary cuts next year. “That’s our intent,” Craig said.
The Harford County Board of Education will meet Thursday to amend their budget to reflect the extra $2.7 million, plus $300,000 more that Craig said would be used toward a planned agricultural magnet program at North Harford High School. Craig said his budget would also include the state-required maintenance of effort funding for the schools of approximately $147,000.
Harford Schools Superintendent Robert Tomback said he couldn’t say for certain that the additional funds would go to employees, because such decisions reside with the school board and salaries are also subject to pending collective bargaining agreements. But Tomback said he appreciated the cooperation between the county executive, the county council and the school system, adding, “We’re on the same team.”