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Friday, May 4, 2012

Wicomico County Schools Budget Battle, A Sure Sign The County Is Broke

WICOMICO CO., Md. - It appears a battle is brewing over budget numbers in Wicomico County.
Board of Education President, Ron Willey, recently vented to the press about his belief that the budget request for school operations was agreed upon, at 38.7 million dollars. But the county says this is 2.5 million dollars too high. Superintendent, Dr. John Fredericksen supports Willey's claim, "Everyone agrees that probably isn't a really workable number. So we've met a couple times...3 times. And we talked about what is a workable number. (The number) That has been bounced around has been 38.7 million dollars."
County Executive Rick Pollitt released this statement in response:
"The statements issued this week by the office of the Wicomico County Board of Education and its president, Ron Willey, contain several misrepresentations and errors of fact. However, I believe it would serve no useful purpose to engage in a public war of words with individuals associated with our school system. It would, in fact, detract from the important work before us of providing the very best education for our children in order that they may graduate from our schools and compete with young people from around the world for the best jobs and a successful standard of living.
We have consistently counseled BOE representatives regarding the maximum budget appropriation we believe is prudent and which will allow for the timely completion of the James M. Bennett High School project and the construction of the new Bennett Middle School.
My staff and I remain prepared to meet with the leadership of the Board of Education to correct the record and restore the climate of mutual trust and truthfulness necessary to provide a strong educational program that our tax-paying community can afford and I call upon them to meet with us in that spirit as opposed to an ugly display in the press."

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