Griffin Addresses Banks' Budget Letter

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Editor, The Herald:

I appreciate and respect Mr. Bank's openness and honesty regarding his stance on the budget. I attend all the Board of Supervisors meetings so I am aware of his opinions on the budget and support of public education. I do appreciate that the Board of Supervisors appropriated additional funds for the school system last year and do not expect additional funds every year. However, Cumberland County Public Schools had a budget of $18,863,382 in the 2006-2007 school year. Since 2009-2010, we have cut 49 full-time staff members and employees have taken substantial cuts in their take home pay with a much increased workload. With a requested budget of $14,215,362.78 last year, we were able to maintain our current staff and provide for VRS mandates. With an additional local request of $337,421.89 for the 2013-2014 Budget, we are asking for additional funding for a state mandated Reading Specialist; a 2% pay increase for all full-time employees; funds due to an increase in health insurance participation; and funds for a step based on the Salary Scale (last year, steps were frozen). With that said, we reduced our operating costs by $110,000 in utilities and technology in the upcoming budget. With the Governor and General Assembly agreeing to pay the state's share of the 2% salary increase, I do not want our employees to miss out on this much deserved opportunity. If the locality does not contribute to the 2%, the school division loses the state funding allocated for the salary increase. As superintendent, it is my job to develop a proposed budget that reflects the needs of the school division. The 2013-2014 Proposed School Operating Budget does just that. We must be able to retain the quality professionals that we currently have working at Cumberland County Public Schools. It is my belief that the school division is the backbone of economic development and there is no better investment than the youth of our community.

Amy W. Griffin, Ed.D.

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