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Worcester County Commissioners Reject School Funding Above MOE for Lack of Transparency

On June 6, 2023 the Worcester County Commissioners voted against the additional funds requested by the Worcester County Board of Education. Each year, the BOE asks for extra funding in addition to what is called the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) - the county's portion of school funding. Worcester county is among the most self-funded school system in the state, contributing approximately 81% toward the per-pupil cost to educate a child in the county. The other 19% accounts for federal and state funding.

The commissioners asked school officials for a detailed line-item budget from the school system and their administration flat-out refused to provide for their request. In response, the commissioners made a simple call to not give a penny over the MOE. Of course this did not come without drama from the school system, the teachers' union, and the OPEB.

While this bunch tries to drive a narrative to say that the County Commissioners are “anti- education” and “anti-teacher," the fact is that the BOE is $151M behind in funding their retirement account. They don't contribute enough yearly to cover the current cost, which is just over $6M. This year once again, the BOE put just over $2M and the County Commissioners have put in $8M to get the BOE OPEB fully funded. Now, who's really looking out for teachers? The veil is lifted.

Despite the drama, the decision was made 5-2 to lock the 2024 school budget without the gravy, due to the long standing pattern of the school's misappropriation, poor management, sneakiness, and defiance.

Here is how it ended, establishing accountability with foundational bold comments by Commissioners Eric Fiori (District 3) and Caryn Abbott (District 1).

On June 9, 2023 Worcester County Board of Education member Katie Addis (District 6) served the school district's administration with a bold statement that was well due.

Worcester County citizens are relieved to see that they have representatives fighting for them on the front line, receiving exactly what they voted for - accountability.

Fellows & Editors June 10, 2023 - Copyright

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