Wicomico Teachers’ Union Demands Money That CANNOT Be Appropriated

SALISBURY, MD – After spending thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in an attempt to garner public support for $38.7 million Wicomico County tax dollars being funneled to the Board of Education (WCBOE), members and allies of the Wicomico County Education Association (WCEA) marched down Glen Avenue last night and demanded that the Wicomico County Council appropriate $2 million in excess of County Executive Rick Pollitt’s proposed FY 2013 budget.  After disrupting the beginning of the council’s meeting and heckling speakers who opposed more funds for the WCBOE, supporters of the additional $2 million – Pollitt’s budget already contained funding that was $500,000 above maintenance of effort (MOE) – begged, pleaded, cried (literally) and threatened council members.  In the end, it was all for naught.  Even IF a majority of the council wanted to appropriate the funds, the county’s charter prohibits them from doing so.

Why?  Well, if anyone deserves blame it would fall on the WCBOE.  Their initial budget request which was submitted to the County Executive did not include the additional $2 million.  The county’s charter does not permit council to increase spending on ANY line in the budget submitted by Pollitt.  They can only cut spending.  State law, which trumps the county’s charter, does allow the council to increase funding, but ONLY to the extent that a county executive has cut the budget request of the local board of education.  Pollitt did not cut the WCBOE’s submitted budget.  Therefore, council CANNOT increase spending.

This begs a question.  Is Dave White, president of the WCEA, incompetent?  The union’s leadership?  Or … was last night’s piece of political theater designed merely as a prelude to the 2014 elections and an attempt to return to the spendthrift policies which led to the implementation of Wicomico County’s revenue cap?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Please fix your “there” in the second paragraph!

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