St. Mary's Commissioners Approve Use of $5.3M by School Board

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (December 6, 2017)—The St. Mary's County Board of Education can now use $5.3 million in excess revenues and savings from fiscal 2017 to purchase new mathematics textbooks and continue technology upgrades in middle and high schools after the Commissioners of St. Mary's County approved transferring the money into the schools Fiscal 2018 budget.

According to Superintendent Scott Smith $2.2 million will go to purchasing new text books and an even $2 million will go to the technology refresh.

Another $1 million will go to the school system's OPEB (other post employment benefits) fund.

The remaining $100,000 will go to fund litigation expenses the school board is expecting to incur this year, Smith told Commissioners.

Commissioner John O'Connor agreed to vote for the proposal but was concerned that the school system did not use a portion of the $5.3 million to fund a new home for its information technology headquarters rather than entering into a leasing plan for other property near the school board's Moakley Street headquarters in September.

"I see a little bit of double dipping here to the tax payer," O'Connor said before voting to approve the transfer.

Commissioner Todd Morgan likewise was wary of the request but voted to approve it.

"I'll reluctantly support this," Morgan said. "It's $4.4 million that is going back into the classroom for students and teachers."

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