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Friday, April 03, 2009

Reply: ACT NOW - PG Senate may cut students additional $36 million

On the one hand, I opposed the school board's decision to spend $36 million on new offices.
But on the other hand, I am absolutely appalled by the double standard of our senators.
Over the past few years, members of both houses of the General Assembly have spend tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of dollars--money we desperately need now--on luxury office improvements for themselves.  
Now these disgusting hypocrites are holding our children hostage as part of an extortionate scheme to prevent the school board from carrying out office improvements that are far more moderate than the Mike Miller palace in Annapolis.
But the voters of Prince George's County keep reelecting these people, so they must be doing what most of the voters want.

On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 1:48 AM, <ARTEERICK@aol.com> wrote:

I just received the following amendment to the State Budget Bill 100, sponsored by the Prince George's State Senate Delegation. If approved by both houses and the conference committee, it may cut an additional $36 million directly from the basic funding formula for ALL PGCPS students.
Therefore, if PGCPS will receive $250-300 less to educate students.  $36 million also is equal to the 600 teachers, if they each received $60,000 in salary and benefits, or the about cost to pay all 8-900 bus drivers.
Please note that the senate already cut millions from PGCPS BUDGET earlier in the week. In addition, the County Executive is asking for an exemption from the Maintenance of effort which would cut another $22 -27 million if approved by the State Board.
The Bridge for Excellence (BTE) in Public Schools Act, commonly referred to as "Thornton" was completely phased in by fiscal 2008.  School systems receive a basic per pupil funding amount through the FOUNDATION PROGRAM. Additional funding formulas provide supplemental aid for students with special needs – students with disabilities, students eligible for free and reduced price meals (FRPM), and students with limited English proficiency (LEP). One discretionary part of the formulas that was in the original BTE-the Geographical Cost of Education Index (GCEI) – has not been fully funded. State aid for student transportation also increases. Local jurisdictions receive broad flexibility in determining how to meet State goals for student achievement along with the enhanced funding. However, each school system is held accountable for achieving goals and student outcome measurements outline in its Comprehensive Master Plan, which is updated annually.
Simply put it is the minimum cost to educate all students, if the General Assembly had not already cut the formula amount during the 2007 Special Session.
Why $36 million? I can only speculate, so it is best that you  to ask the Senate President (who also represents part of Prince Georges and/or the PG Senate Delegation. (see contact information below)
I will add however, that $36 million appears to have something in common with the following:
- This is the same amount originally cut from the County portion of the PGCPS budget by the County Executive
- This also appears to be about the same amount approved to lease/purchase the new school office complex so they could consolidate many administrative functions including the Division of Academics in one location instead of several spread out over many miles.
Either way, it appears that some are attempting to mix money from operation cost that directly impacts the classroom, students and teachers, with Capital Budget funds use to build, maintain and operate quality facilities more efficiently and effectively.
What can you do - CONTACT THE PRINCE GEORGE'S SENATE DELEGATION NOW and ask them about the amendment below.
They may vote as early as Friday morning, 9 AM and it may go to the conference committee later in the day and/or over the weekend.

Miller, Jr.
Thomas V.
C. Anthony
Paul G.
"Do you know - What are the children in your community doing today?"
If not, remember - -
"We only know what we have experienced."
Rick Tyler *** arteerick@aol.com

BY: Prince George's County Senators
(Third Reading File Bill – Committee Reprint)
On page 137, under:
Program: R00A02.01
Entitled: State Share of Foundation Program
After line 32, insert:
"Further provided that disbursement of $36,000,000 of this appropriation to be
disbursed to the Prince George's County Board of Education is contingent on the
Board of Education terminating, cancelling, or not proceeding with any contract
to purchase or lease a new administration building and paying no damages due
to terminating, cancelling, or not proceeding with any contract.".

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