Local News

Debate Over Budget Proposal Continues In Cumberland County

Posted July 17, 2001

— The "Let's Make A Deal" game between the Cumberland County school board and commissioners will continue.

Months of talks between county commissioners and the board of education have come to a standstill.

In a statement at Monday night's commissioner's meeting, commission chairman Lee Warren said a compromise to increase funding by $3.1 million would be the final offer.

The school board wants a $5.7 million increase. Warren says the county cannot afford that.

The school board says the latest offer on the table to increase the budget proposal by $3 million is not enough. Much of that funding is based on a local sales tax increase that has not even passed.

School board members say they will accept the plan if the sales tax increase is approved, but with a hitch.

"If it doesn't come, we've agreed to use a portion of our remaining capital to meet the needs of the system and float a loan to the commissioners over the next couple of years. There's no reason this can't work," said Board of Education member Rick Glazier.

The school board has not ruled out taking the battle to court. However, before that happens, a court appointed mediator would have to declare an impasse.

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