Thursday, May 15, 2014

Red Flag: Council Did Increase MCPS Funding by $27.2 Million

About now you are probably reading happy press releases and e-mails from County Councilmembers about the fabulous deal they have cooked up to fund the MCPS FY 2015 Operating Budget.  Councilmembers (all up for re-election) are congratulating themselves on giving MCPS more money than was required by Maryland law without actually increasing the baseline amount they must legally fund MCPS under the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) law.

You might want to hold your applause for just a moment.  

While it is true that the Council has not raised the MOE baseline for the MCPS FY 2015 Operating Budget it appears that they are raising the MOE baseline for FY 2017 and beyond.

The "deal" cooked up behind closed doors by the Council includes that the Council will pay back the MCPS trust funds in FY 2016.
"Board of Education President Philip Kauffman said in a statement Monday that the council has assured the board that the money taken from the trust funds will be replaced in the fiscal 2016 budget."  Gazette 5/12/14
...and from the Council packet on the "deal" we learn that the $27.2 million is a permanent increase in the MCPS budget...
The FY15-20 Fiscal Plan will reflect the continuation of County funding on MCPS' behalf for retiree health benefits by including an additional $27.2 million in MCPS OPEB funding for FY16 and beyond.

Yes, MCPS just got a $27.2 million raise, but Councilmembers are hopeful that no one will talk about this until after the election.  For now, read the happy press releases and e-mails. 

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