Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

March 27, 2013

Disparity grants leaves pension holes

CUMBERLAND — Last year’s shift of teacher pension costs from the state to counties is leaving a budget hole for local governments to fill, despite state disparity grants to Allegany and Garrett counties. The disparity grants don’t cover the full costs of teacher pensions.

In Allegany County, the disparity grant was just over $9 million, according to Delegate Wendell Beitzel. In Garrett County, the grant was more than $2.5 million, said County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt.

Both grants were what county officials expected.

“The grant for fiscal year 2014 is currently estimated to be exactly the same as last year at $8,930,611 — this total is inclusive of the supplemental amount for teachers pensions of $1,632,106, the same as last year. Technically, this money is Allegany County’s, but the supplemental amount goes towards the cost of the teacher’s pension shift,” said Jason Bennett, Allegany County finance director.

The Garrett County grant includes $406,000 for teacher pension supplemental grants, the same amount as 2013, said Pagenhardt.

Because of the way Maryland education funding is set up, all the money must come first through the county. And the counties must now make up the difference after legislation passed last year.

“The supplemental disparity grant does not cover the full cost of teachers pensions this year. The amount identified for teacher pensions ... is $1,885,754... leaving the county to come up with more than $250,000,” Bennett said.

“Disparity grants go to county government. From an educational standpoint, we know that county government is receiving $1,632,106 in a supplemental disparity grant for teacher pensions. My understanding is the ‘regular’ disparity grant that county government receives can be used for anything they please,” said Randall Bittinger, chief business officer for the Allegany County Board of Education.

Last year, in Allegany County, the board of education and county officials had a war of numbers about the actual financial impact of the disparity grants and the teacher pension shift. It became part of the continuing battle over funding and control between commissioners and school officials that has continued since the current Allegany County commissioners took office in 2010.

Garrett County commissioners have already told their county board of education that their overall funding for fiscal 2014 will be the same as in 2013, Pagenhardt said.

For fiscal 2013, the teacher pension obligation of $664,714 and supplemental grant of $406,400 made for a difference of $258,314. The county had funded or appropriated an additional $258,314 to the board of education, Pagenhardt said.

“The county did not have to fund this amount but did. For fiscal year 2014 this same formula from the state shows $842,544 in teacher pension obligation with supplemental grant again at $406,400. The additional cost difference from 2013 to 2014 is $178,830. It is yet to be determined how much of the difference the county will fund,” Pagenhardt said.

Unlike some states that provide school systems with the ability to fund their schools through taxation via school levies or other procedures and through direct budgeting by the board of education, Maryland gives counties control over the school board’s finances. On the other hand, counties are locked into a maintenence of effort formula that requires them to fund the educational system at a certain level each year.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Four DUI at Pa. sobriety checkpoint

    A sobriety checkpoint and roving patrol by Pennsylvania State Police resulted in four arrests for DUI Friday on state Route 281.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Springs, Pa., man missing since Jan. 6

    SPRINGS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help to find a Springs man missing since Jan. 6.

     

    April 19, 2014

  • Man charged with handgun crime

    Timothy Hart Winkler, 30, Grantsville, was arrested by city officers early Friday after a complainant and a witness said he pulled a handgun during an argument in front of 124 Seymour St.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday