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From the Desk of
County Commissioner Kirby Delauter

(4/2012) This message is in response to the message the Frederick County Teachers Association (FCTA) placed in the March 25th edition of the Frederick News Post. The FCTA claims we are at a crossroads? They say that the Teachers are committed to ensuring that every child in our community receives a great public education. Do they really think that the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) or the Board of Education (BOE) doesn't want every child to receive a great education? That paragraph is nothing more than union rhetoric designed to divide and conquer and does nothing to solve the problems we face.

This Board of County Commissioners asked the BOE what their main funding priorities were about seven to eight months ago. Their answer was that they wanted North Frederick Elementary , Frederick High School, and the addition to Oakdale moved up and funded. This BOCC did just that, exactly what we were asked to do.

This BOCC also set a place holder in our budget for $10 Million in like kind services for the BOE, we have funded $17.7 Million in debt service for schools, added $1 Million in systemic repairs, funded MOE for the 2013 fiscal year (as we have every year in our past history), as well as set a $3 Million place holder for the state shift in teacher pensions that are being dumped on the county. This pension placeholder must be done since our state officials offered a luxurious pension plan that they have now discovered they canít afford.

This BOCC has a surplus because we have made tough decisions. This was no accident. It happened with leadership and a coordinated effort between the BOCC and the County employees that understand where we are today as a County and as a Nation. We are in uncharted waters, never before in our history have public sector budgets been so bloated while our government works to destroy the private sector.

The Frederick News-Post message from the FCTA says that every day they spend countless hours above and beyond their contract to meet the needs of our students, and that they do this because they are deeply committed to the success of every child. Really?

A local corporation that is assisting in the Science and Technology fair received emails from teachers stating that the teachers would not participate in this Science and Engineering Fair due to their union contract which states they must now work to the contract. In lieu of just simply volunteering their time after hours, these private sector employees must now request paid time off, or take unpaid leave to participate in the Science and Engineering fair at the schools since the teachers have decided they will not go "above and beyond" for our students. The private sector employees (volunteers) will now participate in the Science and Technology Fair during working hours.

That group of privately employed dedicated individuals will now do your job for the teachers and it is they who will go "above and beyond" to ensure that these students get the required attention they deserve. These Professionals in the private sector will take leave from work without added compensation while the teacherís union of Frederick County insists that this project now be performed during their 7.5 hour workday. I must applaud and commend the private sector for their initiative and support.

The teachers union goes on in their paid advertisement to state they need to have these "work to rule" actions to influence the priorities of the elected leaders. I can honestly confess that they have not influenced me one bit. Rather in my opinion the leadership of the teachers union demonstrates that they place the needs and education of our students well below a paycheck. It's not about students and achievement. Itís about how much you can liquidate from the taxpayer of Frederick County, plain and simple.

In these economic times, with people losing their homes, unemployment at an all time high, and fuel prices 300% higher than just 2 years ago, I feel it's an embarrassment that a portion of the union leadership believes they are entitled to more and more of our money. One report recently cited by our Governor noted that that only 39% of American jobs lost to the recent economic crisis have been recovered.

I will offer my opinion here, with more than 3,000 recent applicants for 170 teaching positions in Frederick County I find it hard to believe that we have too bad of an educational environment. Rather our successes as one of the more highly rated and regarded education systems in Maryland proves we have an outstanding system in place.

And in closing I would like to offer one final point. In addition to the information noted earlier in my statement, it is important to note that the Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools presented the BOE with a balanced budget back in January, assuming Maintenance of Effort funding with a $10.8 million salary resource pool for pay increases. The BOE and not the Board of County Commissioners, decided to reduce the salary resource pool in order to eliminate the savings budgeted from the proposed one-student increase in the class-size staffing formula. The BOCC had nothing to do with these changes!

I hope that I have clarified my opinion on this matter and given you an honest assessment of the situation with the other side of the story.

Commissioner Kirby Delauter

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