In a work session on Monday, December 11, Talbot Superintendent Sharon Pepukayi and Chief Financial Officer Sally Jones shared the proposed county schools' budget for 2025. The total comes to $80 million dollars with the County having to exceed the "maintenance of effort" required by the state by approximately $6 million. The amount would exceed the FY 24 budget of $72 million dollars. Most of the increased spending is due to the Blueprint for Maryland's Future (also known as Kirwan) legislation.
After a graphic representation by Dr. Pepukayi showing how money would be spent on different schools according to State funding, Ms. Jones reviewed the amounts in each state required funding area and explained where more would be spent in most. She estimated that 55-65% of the increased costs would be for salaries.
The budget will be presented again to the public at the Board's regular meeting at 6:30 December 13 at the Board of Education Offices at 12 Magnolia Street, Easton.
Board member Debbie Bridges said at the end of the meeting that the financial strain of the Blueprint funding on local jurisdictions is "sobering."