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County, School System Reach Agreement to Consolidate

The agreement to combine data centers will save as much as $4 million in construction costs and $100,000 annually in maintenance, according to the county.

County government and schools system officials say an agreement to consolidate data centers will save millions in construction and annual maintenance costs.

The school system has agreed to combine its primary data center in Timonium with a county government data center in Towson. County Government and the schools system have been sharing a backup data center since 2007.

The agreement, announced in a statement by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Superintendent S. Dallas Dance, is expected to save as much as $4 million associated with the construction of a new center for the schools system.

Both Kamenetz and Dance highlighted the fiscal benefits of the agreement.

"We have made giant strides so far in using innovation and consolidation to maximize efficiency in general government operations, and the next logical step is to work together with the school system to save taxpayer dollars and ensure that we are doing all that we can to focus our limited resources on the classroom," Kamenetz said in the joint statement.

"Our top priority is to ensure that we provide as many resources as possible for the teaching and learning that takes place in each of our classrooms everyday," Dance said.

The agreement, which must be approved by the County Council, is part of a consolidation effort Kamenetz began earlier this year with the idea of eliminating redundant administrative costs.

Earlier this year, Kamenetz requested changes in state law allowing the county to take over some school system administrative functions such as payroll. The bill ultimately failed but the county has continued to look for additional ways to save money through consolidation.

"We're chipping away at the whole budget management issue," said Don Mohler, a county spokesman.

In August, the schools system agreedto relocate its curriculum and instruction division from leased space in the Pulaski Center in Middle River to the county-owned Jefferson Building in Towson. The move, which will be completed by August 2013, is expected to save the school system $1.5 million in operating expenses.

Glen November 10, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Credit is well deserved for Kevin Kamenetz and Dr. Dance to reach this fiscally positive agreement, assuming the plan provides adequate data services to both the school system and county government. There are many other expenses the former BCPS administration incurred that were unnecessary, such as the failed testing program developed by the Assistant Superintendent while on taxpayer money. Several more reasons that the School Board should be accountable to the citizens of Baltimore county.
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