CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County school system is asking the community for support during the upcoming budget hearings.

“The budget is lean, mean, but necessary,” said Queen Anne’s County Board of Edcuation President Capt. Beverly Kelley, of the school system’s budget request. “We need support from the public, teachers, parents, and community members to help us to get commissioners to fund what we believe is the right budget for our school system.”

On March 6, the board approved the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year as presented by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andrea Kane. The total proposed school budget for next year is $98.7 million. Of that amount, the school board asked the county for $3.7 million — $2.6 million over maintenance of effort. By state law, local governments are required to fund school systems at a level equal to the per pupil cost of the current year.

Budget requests are aligned to the priorities identified in the school system’s budget survey and its strategic plan, Kane said.

The new requests include: 8.5 staffing positions, 4 teacher positions ( one each at Bayside Elementary, Centreville Middle, Kennard Elementary, and Kent Island High), 3 classroom teacher positions (over-hires created this past year to reduce class sizes at Kennard Elementary, Stevensville Middle and Queen Anne’s County High), 1.5 new positions for the Virtual Academy Pilot, employee compensation, and bus contracts.

Additional requests include increases to compensation for substitute teachers and home hospital teachers, transportation, facilities maintenance and security, and small increases for curriculum and equity. You may access the FY2020 Budget Request online at qacps.org under Board Docs.

“I am counting on your support of the FY2020 budget requests for teaching positions, transportation, facilities maintenance, security and programs, which impact your child/children directly,” said Kane in a letter to parents and stakeholders, “Now is the time to speak up. Next school year will be too late.”

The county’s proposed budget includes $2.5 million in new funding for the board of education, $1.4 million above the required maintenance of effort.

Budget hearings are scheduled for 7 p.m. as follows: April 22 at Bayside Elementary in Stevensville; April 23 at the Liberty building in Centreville; and April 24 at Sudlersville Middle School in Sudlersville.

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