Who Pays? What Pays?

Maria Reyes, Assistant Managing Editor, Opinions Editor, Web Editor

Money is a gift and a necessity for all schools, including Urbana High School (UHS), to function. Money helps pay for everything students use. From the building they are in, and the computers they use everything has a cost. But how is this money distributed?

To start off it’s like a big family potluck. So there is a big pot of soup. Now the owner of this soup or distributor is Frederick County Public Schools. FCPS then distributes this money among the schools. Populations size a the key factor in determining how much each school gets. In other words FCPS gives each family enough food depending on how many people are in the family.

   After the money is distributed into the school the head of the school decides how to distribute that money. At UHS the head is Mr. Franceschina, the principal. Mrs. Ferrante is also a very important part of this head since she is the financial secretary of the school. Together they divide the money into the school department. They also finance all other forms of money that comes into the school.

   When the FCPS system gives the money to the principal it is placed in different categories. For example, some money is specifically categorized as Special Education and that money can only be used towards that program. However most of the money is for Materials of Instruction (MOI). MOI is distributed into the school’s departments.

  There are many departments including the English, math, science, and drama departments. Each department gives an account of what they will need for the following year and the principal and Mrs. Ferrante take that into consideration when making the budget for the following year. This allows the teachers to give the principal the input on what they see necessary.

 Another important category is the Discretion Fund. This is practically a back-up budget. For example, recently a scantron machine at Urbana broke and so this problem will be dealt with using the discretion fund. “We’re getting ready to become a one-to-one school sometime in the future, so we’re starting book studies and teacher training. I had to spend money on books for teachers so that came out of the discretion fund,” said Mr. Franceschina.

  For events that are related to student activities the Student Activity Fund pays for that. The Student Activity Fund pays for anything from student fees to student incentives. Parking lot fees, donations, and any students fees can put money into the Student Activity Fund. “It’s sort of like the MOI because there is one giant pot of money but it’s broken down into other things. However it isn’t a budget because we don’t anticipate expenses,” said Franceschina. Wondering who payed for the new picnic tables? We did! The picnic tables were paid by the student activity fund which allows students to enjoy eating outside comfortably.

  The student activity fund is also important because it pays for fees that students can’t pay. UHS is a public school so “we can’t restrict students from participating in a school event because of financial issues,” said Franceschina. This is why fundraisers and club payments are so important because the money from these personally helps students.

   When approving the budget the system can be related to the federal