The Board of Education will conduct two public hearings next week on Superintendent George Arlotto’s recommended Fiscal Year 2020 operating and capital budgets.
The hearings will take place on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at Old Mill High School, and Thursday, January 10, 2019, in the Board Room at the Parham Building in Annapolis. Both hearings begin at 6 p.m. Those wishing to testify can sign up beginning at 5 p.m. Testimony will be limited to three minutes per person.
Superintendent George Arlotto’s recommended $1.26 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2020 would add 201 classroom teaching positions and provide school system employees with multiple compensation increases.
Dr. Arlotto’s plan contains 295.6 new positions, 92 percent of which would be allocated to employees to have daily interactions with students. Of the 201 classroom teaching positions, 116 would help reduce existing class sizes and 44.5 would address enrollment increases.
The recommendation also includes $35.1 million for employee compensation increases, to be allocated as follows:
- $7.5 million to fund the second half of the mid-year compensation increase provided to employees in the current fiscal year.
- $14 million to fund a step increase for all eligible employees in all bargaining units and an equivalent increase for non-represented employees.
- $13.6 million as a compensation placeholder for additional employee increases, subject to negotiations with bargaining units. That amount is sufficient to provide an additional step increase for eligible employees, cost-of-living increases for all employees, or some other distribution – including back steps – that a bargaining unit may desire to devise and negotiate.
The recommendation also contains $2.1 million to increase extracurricular pay for teachers from $25 per hour to $30 per hour, and $928,000 to increase pay for substitute teachers by $10 per day. This substitute pay rate has not been increased in 18 years.
Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation also includes:
- $3.1 million for 47.3 positions to address enrollment increases and enhanced student needs in special education.
- $2.4 million for 25 English Language Acquisition teachers, 10 bilingual teaching assistants, two bilingual facilitators, and a technician to assist English Language Learners and their families
- $1.4 million for seven school counselors, three school psychologists, and three social workers to help further address social and emotional needs of students.
- $742,800 to expand the Triple-E program to the five elementary schools in the Broadneck cluster, making it the seventh cluster in the county with the curriculum.
Dr. Arlotto’s $172 million capital budget recommendation includes $88.8 million for ongoing construction projects at:
- George Cromwell Elementary School
- Edgewater Elementary School
- Tyler Heights Elementary School
- Richard Henry Lee Elementary School
- Crofton Area High School
It also includes $3 million for feasibility studies at Quarterfield, Hillsmere, and Rippling Woods elementary schools, and $10 million for the design of the new Old Mill West High School.
Also contained in the capital budget recommendation is $11 million for prekindergarten and kindergarten additions at Millersville and Linthicum elementary schools, and $6 million to construct a classroom addition at Crofton Woods Elementary School and complete the addition at Solley Elementary School.
Details about Dr. Arlotto’s budget recommendation, a Budget in Brief, a video of his budget address, and the text of his remarks to the Board can be found here.
PUBLIC BUDGET WORKSHOP
The Board will also hold a public workshop on Dr. Arlotto’s budget recommendation at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, in the Board Room at the Parham Building. No public testimony will be taken at the workshop or at the February 20, 2019, meeting at which the Board is scheduled to adopt its budget request. Should the Board offer amendments at the February 20 meeting, testimony will be taken on the amendments.
The Board’s approved budget request will be forwarded to County Executive Steuart Pittman. The County Executive’s proposal will be considered by the County Council before it adopts a budget that allocates funding within prescribed state categories in June. The Board retains the ability to shift funding within operating budget categories before it approves a final school system budget no later than June 30.