The Montgomery County Council will continue to monitor the school system’s surplus to see that it does not continue to grow, according to Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring, chairwoman of the council's Education Committee.
In the last month, council members questioned how the surplus grew to about $32 million in the last few budget years and what the school system plans to do with the money.
The school system has stated that the county council should not be surprised by the surplus; the only surprise should be at how quickly it grew this year due to staffing changes and lower than average utility costs.
Despite the concerns, at an Education Committee meeting May 16 in which council members finalized the committee’s recommendation for the school system’s fiscal 2013 budget, no one questioned the surplus.
When asked after the meeting why it was not mentioned, Ervin said, “We had conversations prior to this.”
She said the surplus is a small amount compared to the school system’s overall $2.1 billion budget.
If the amount continues to grow, that will be a cause for concern, she said.
The school system plans to spend $17 million of its surplus in fiscal 2013, leaving about $15 million for future years.