Now is the time of year to advocate for education funding in Cecil County and, in order for your advocacy to be most effective, you need to understand some steps in the process.
Honestly, most organizations are talking about the budget all year long–whether they are measuring success or failure with meeting the budget for the current year or determining budgetary needs for the future, key people within that organization are thinking about budgets year round. (CCPS discusses its current position against the budget at every monthly meeting and the documents supporting the conversation are available to the
But many decisions for the coming year are being made NOW!
Here’s the budget timeline
|Superintendent proposes his budget to the members of the board of education (the group that will have to approve the budget).|
|Superintendent and board discuss any changes that may be necessary.|
|School system holds a public hearing where the community can comment on the budget.||Feb 20|
|Superintendent presents his final budget to the county executive.|
|County executive presents his budget to the county council.||March 29|
|County council holds a series of public meetings with every department to learn more about their specific request.||April & May|
|Council holds a public hearing on the budget.||May 23|
|Council votes to approve the budget as originally presented or with changes.||June 4|
|After the county budget is confirmed, the board of education votes to adopt its final budget.||June 10|
|New fiscal year starts and the budget goes into effect||July 1|
We’re at a critical point in the process
Once County Executive Alan McCarthy presents the budget to the county council, nothing can be added (the council can increase the budget for education but that increase has to come from some other place in the budget).
Our job is to let the county executive know that we support increased education funding in Cecil County.
He’s an elected official and, while he hasn’t announced plans to run for a second term, that’s certainly a possibility.
We need to let him know:
- We expect education to be funded adequately
- We will either support him during the election or hold him accountable for his budgetary decisions.
But it’s not as simple as it sounds
The final budget request from CCPS will come with a higher price tag than recent budgets and that number is the minimum the school system needs
In recent years, the county has funded CCPS at either the minimum level permitted by state law (called maintenance of effort) or just slightly above.
There will be a small but vocal group advocating *against* the school system’s budget. (Truthfully, they want to fight anything that costs money and doesn’t directly benefit them. They don’t grasp that maintaining a thriving community costs money.)
I haven’t even mentioned the capital budget yet.
Your mission, if you accept it, is to contact the county executive NOW.
It is our only chance
To share your support of the budget or to advocate for specific parts of the budget, you can email County Executive Dr. Alan McCarthy at email@example.com and Director of Administration Mr. Al Wein at firstname.lastname@example.org.