Finance Committee Meetings

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    May 10, 2022 FInance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed local funding to be provided by the Board of Supervisors for next school year that represents a $2.1 million reduction from the proposed $4.6 million operating budget request. Further, the Board of Supervisors provided no county funds for the capital projects proposed under the School Capital Projects Fund. Staff reviewed budget adjustments of $2.1 million including the removal of three CTE liaison positions; pay differential for special education teachers, behavior specialists and their assistants; supplemental pay for degreed instructional assistants and the “Grow Our Own” FCPS graduate incentive. These budget adjustments were made by the finance committee on April 14, 2022 and later approved by the School Board on April 21, 2022. Staff also reviewed that the Millbrook High School roof would not be replaced since the county did not provide funds for capital projects. Lastly, staff recommended a contract award to Paramount Mechanical Corp. in the amount of $2,298,000 to improve the HVAC system at NREP. These funds are provided by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the federal government.  

    May 2, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed personnel vacancies and details on the requested new 29 teaching positions proposed in the budget. Staff also reviewed ESSER III (federal COVID funds) facts including the grant timeline, allowable uses, stakeholder input, and planning transparency. Answers to questions received from Board of Supervisor Douglas McCarthy on April 27, 2022, on the use of ESSER III funds can be found in the link above. Further, staff clarified facts regarding proposed salary increases. The Superintendent’s Proposed Budget included a 5% increase for all staff (including administrators) and a higher pay differential for special education teachers, behavior specialists and their assistants. School Board Members adjusted the proposed budget to include speech therapists in the special education pay differential initiative and to add three CTE teaching liaisons by reducing the special education pay differential amount and reducing the administrator pay increase. This action resulted in a 4.5% administrator increase. All staff, including special education staff, will receive a 5% pay increase under the Board of Supervisors’ Scenario A (fully-funded proposal) and Scenario C. The special education pay differential initiative is an additional pay incentive that can be realized under funding Scenario A. Finally, the employee share of health insurance will not increase for the next school year.

    April 14, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed the successful results of the recent FCPS internal audit. Responses to budget questions recently received from Board of Supervisors Blaine Dunn, Douglas McCarthy and Josh Ludwig were provided to finance committee members and a copy of those questions and responses can be found in the link above. Staff reviewed the Frederick County Government funding scenarios that were discussed during their board meeting April 13, 2022.  Supervisors Judith McCann-Slaughter, Robert Wells and Charles DeHaven voted for funding scenario A which fully funds the School Board proposed FY23 budget. Supervisors Douglas McCarthy, Blaine Dunn and Josh Ludwig voted for funding scenario C which reduces the School Board’s operating budget proposal by $2.1 million to reserve those funds for future transportation projects. Since the outcome was a tied vote (Supervisor Shawn Graber was absent), the county will reconvene at a later date to vote on funds for school operations. Staff worked with School Board finance committee members to review the details of their proposed budget and to identify a range of $2.1 million up to $2.5 million in budget proposal cuts. This range of cuts reflects county funding scenario C and potential reduction in state revenues. At present, the state and county have not finalized FY23 funding for schools.

    March 10, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff answered a school board member’s question about positions that should or should not be included in the $6,000 pay differential. Staff reviewed potential county funding scenarios for the schools. County scenario A fully funds the School Board’s proposed budget. Scenario B provides no county funds for school capital projects. Scenario C reduces the operating proposal by $2.1 million. Regarding the state budget, staff shared state funding ranges based on three state proposals:  Governor, House and Senate. The School Board’s proposed budget is based on the Governor’s state budget version. The state final budget may not be complete for another few weeks.  Based on the state funding proposals, Frederick County Public Schools could receive $400,000 less or $2.0 million more for operating and no funds or $5.3 million for school capital projects. Staff also reviewed all school financial funds that would be included in the county’s budget advertisement for the county budget public hearing on March 23, 2022.  Operating, debt service and capital project funds are impacted by county funds. Staff reviewed all other funds' purposes and their changes for the next school year.

    February 23, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff shared transportation requests included in the Superintendent’s proposed budget with finance committee members. The proposed budget includes funding for two additional replacement school buses. Staff also reviewed debt service funds and their use for principal and interest payments. The proposed budget requests the debt funding level remain the same as the current year allowing for a one-time transfer of $0.9 million to the School Capital Projects Fund to support facilities asset replacement projects. Finance committee members also discussed potential adjustments to the Superintendent’s proposed budget.

    February 17, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    During the finance committee meeting, staff answered committee and board members questions regarding the five percent salary initiative, additional staffing and extended/upgraded employee contracts in the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget. Questions and answers focused on reallocating teachers, maintenance technician certifications, elementary learning centers, and work-based learning and transition specialists. These questions and answers can be found in the link above. Staff also presented the updated Capital Asset Plan (CAP) for the next school year including facilities preventive maintenance and asset replacement project priorities. Information about the CAP can be found in the link above.

    February 10, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    During the finance committee meeting, staff answered board member questions regarding the compensation budget proposal for the 2022-23 school year.  Questions and answers focused on bus driver pay incentives, health insurance premiums, restricted programs, salary scale years of experience compression, Pre-K and the Governor’s proposed 5% salary initiative. These questions and answers can be found in the link above. Staff reviewed the meaning of categorical vs. lump sum total funding by the board of supervisors. Staff also reviewed information and justification for the 55 new positions requested in the Superintendent’s proposed budget. Fifty-four of the new positions directly support students and one position supports facilities maintenance. Details on categorical funding and new staffing requests can be found in the link above.

    February 3, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Finance staff provided finance committee members an update on the school division’s Federal Coronavirus funds. Committee members received FY 2023 budget notebooks with details of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2023 budget.  Staff reviewed the timeline and goals of finance committee meetings related to the budget.  Budget meeting norms and the School Board’s role in the budget process were discussed.  Staff also guided School Board members through the details of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2023 budget and provided a line item budget report. Division cuts made prior to the Superintendent’s proposed budget were reviewed. Further, School Board members were provided the details of the salary initiative included in the Superintendent’s budget. The salary initiative includes a five percent increase for all pay groups, enhanced pay for school nurses, a new pay scale for special education teachers and instructional assistants, and a new pay scale for behavior specialists and assistants. Extended contracts for some high school counselors and special education department leads, a five percent increase to health insurance premiums and a Grow Our Own FCPS graduate incentive program are also included in the compensation proposal.

    August 26, 2021, Finance Committee Meeting
    During the August 26th School Board Finance Committee meeting, staff provided an update on the use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds (CARES) and the American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER III). Staff also presented the results of the student activity funds audit and the fiscal year 2021 financial report. The operating fund concluded the fiscal year with $4,264,552 in unobligated funds. The School Board voted to send to the Board of Supervisors three budget adjustments - a School Operating Fund budget adjustment of $10,793,769 for ESSER III funds, $2,769,024 for CSLFRF, $454,276 in restricted funds, and a School Capital Projects Fund budget adjustment of $4,264,552 to support the Capital Asset Plan and the purchase of nineteen school buses.