Businesses Continue to Support Wicomico County Board of Educatio - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Businesses Continue to Support Wicomico County Board of Education Budget Requests

Posted: May 09, 2018 6:43 PM Updated:

SALISBURY, Md.- More people in Wicomico County are trying to get the county to increase funding for public education. Businesses are now encouraging council members to find a way to give the school board it is requesting.

A letter was sent out Tuesday by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce that urged businesses and community leaders to step up and invest in pubic education.

"We need to look into investing into education so that we're able to increase the graduation rate, narrow achievement gaps, and look at our system advance through the rankings. A top performing school system is really attractive to businesses," said Bill Chambers, president of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.

It's a renewed request for elected leaders to come together to support education.
Essentially, the Board of Education is requesting an additional $7 million in its 2019 fiscal year budget.

The school board and its supporters want a universal pre-kindergarten program and more teachers to help raise education levels.

This afternoon, we spoke on the phone with Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver, who said his budget was set and he can no longer make any changes. Culver said it's now up to the County Council.

WBOC also spoke with County Council President John Cannon, who said the council can't really increase taxes anymore. The council would have to cut from other places in the budget to give the school board what it is asking for.

Councilman Joe Holloway told WBOC he's waiting to get receipts from the school board for meetings and dinners, as well as the number of giftcards the schools have given out to students and staff.

Holloway said he wants the board of education to show accountability.

In response to Holloway's request to see the receipts for dinners and meetings, Superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools Dr. Donna Hanlin said she and the Board of Education have informed the council of their meetings budget for the past three fiscal years.

Hanlin said it equates to 0.0015% of the school board's total budget. She also plans on sharing the gift card report to the entire County Council at its next work session meeting that will be held Thursday, May 17.

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