ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Board of Education tonight gave final approval to a $1.27 Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget that provides 223 additional teachers, 35 positions to further address social and emotional needs of students, and compensation increases for all eligible employees.
In approving the budget by an 8-1 vote, the Board made no adjustments to the budget approved on June 14 by the County Council, which aligned funding in 14 state categories.
Of the 223 teaching positions, 109.5 are targeted for class-size reduction and 35 more are intended to address enrollment growth. The budget also funds the expansion of the Enhancing Elementary Excellence (Triple E) program to elementary schools in the Broadneck and Glen Burnie clusters except for Oakwood and Richard Henry Lee elementary schools, which cannot accommodate the program next year for space reasons. Those schools are proposed to receive Triple E in the 2020-2021 school year.
To enhance the school system’s ability to address social and emotional health needs of students, the budget includes 18 additional school counselors, eight additional school psychologists, six additional social workers, and three additional pupil personnel workers.
To further address the needs of English Language Learners and their families, the budget includes more than $2.7 million for 25 English Language Acquisition teachers, 10 bilingual teaching assistants, three bilingual facilitators, and a three-person bilingual special education assessment team.
Also included in the budget is funding for six assistant principal positions. Three of those will create full positions at six elementary schools – Lothian, Millersville, Oakwood, Severn, Shady Side, and Woodside – which currently share assistant principals. The other three will fund full-time assistant principal positions at Jessup, Quarterfield, and Linthicum elementary schools.
The $48.1 million in compensation enhancements will be distributed among all eligible employees. The Board tonight approved an agreement with the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC) that aligns with previously approved agreements with the Association of Educational Leaders (AEL), and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 1639 (AFSCME).
Employees represented by those three bargaining units will receive the following, effective July 1, 2019:
- One full step increase to all eligible employees.
- A 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment to all employees.
- A back step for all eligible employees who were in an eligible bargaining unit in the 2008-2009 school year, have not changed bargaining units or have changed units without an appropriate placement on the salary scale per a bargaining unit agreement, and have not reached the top of the salary scale.
- A back step for all eligible employees who were in an eligible bargaining unit in the 2009-2010 school year, have not changed bargaining units or have changed units without an appropriate placement on the salary scale per a bargaining unit agreement, and have not reached the top of the salary scale.
- The Board has been unable to reach an agreement with the Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County and, therefore, approved terms of employment for those employees tonight. SAAAAC employees will receive no step, longevity, or any other compensation increases until such time as an agreement is reached.
The Board tonight also approved terms of employment for non-represented employees.
Also tonight, the Board unanimously approved a $165.9 million FY2020 capital budget that includes funding for nine major school projects, including the first round of funding for a new Old Mill West High School.
The budget request also contains funding for classroom additions, and additions for kindergarten and prekindergarten. Additionally, it allocates nearly $101.6 million to the following existing major projects, in priority order:
- George Cromwell Elementary School renovation (construction), $4.7 million
- Edgewater Elementary School renovation (construction), $24.0 million
- Tyler Heights Elementary School renovation (construction), $19.3 million
- Richard Henry Lee Elementary School renovation (construction), $16.3 million
- Crofton Area High School construction, $24.4 million
- Quarterfield Elementary School (feasibility study), $947,000
- Hillsmere Elementary School (feasibility study), $784,000
- Rippling Woods Elementary School (feasibility study), $1.2 million
- Old Mill West High School (design), $10.0 million
In addition, the request includes $11 million for prekindergarten and kindergarten additions at Millersville and Linthicum elementary schools and $6 million for classroom additions at Solley and Crofton Woods elementary schools. It also includes $4.3 million for athletic stadium improvements and $430,000 for playground equipment improvements.