Baltimore County Council Halts $33 Million in Funding and Criticizes Schools For Late Buses

What’s happening?

At a meeting on Monday, the Baltimore County Council denied the county schools’ routine request for a funding transfer and criticized school leaders over their handling of recent problems including late school buses, Alison Knezevich reports for the Baltimore Sun. The council voted 5-2 against their proposal to reallocate about $33 million in unspent money due to vacant staff positions to areas such as textbooks, maintenance, and administration. 

What did Baltimore County Council members say about the issue? 

Council members Cathy Bevins, Tom Quirk, and Wade Kach expressed frustration with Superintendent Darryl Williams for his lack of communication, despite county schools receiving the largest share of the budget. 

“I don’t know what the vision of the superintendent is, if there is one,” said Bevins, a Democrat from Middle River. Concerning the late school buses, she added, “Parents can’t go to work every day and not know if their children are going to be picked up.”

However, Council Chairman and Democrat Julian Jones of Woodstock advocated against halting the budget transfer “to send a message when the message has already been sent and it’s loud and clear.” Both Jones and Democrat Councilman Izzy Patoka of Pikesville were the only two to vote to approve the budget shift. 

Anything else I should know? 

Williams, the superintendent, was not present at the meeting. When asked for comment, Baltimore County Public Schools referenced a letter that Williams sent to Jones last week, which included potential solutions to the bus driver shortage. 

You can read more here.

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