Anne Arundel School Board approves budget that may add 62 teachers


LogoHome-1The Anne Arundel County Board of Education recently approved a $986.2 million recommended operating budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that will add 62 teaching positions and fully fund all negotiated agreements with employee groups if approved by the county executive and county council in the spring, according to the school system’s website.

The Board voted 7-1 to approve the plan, which is $49.5 million more than the Fiscal Year 2012 budget approved by the Anne Arundel County Council, with $33.8 million of that going toward funding of the negotiated agreements. The remainder of the increase includes allocations for increased transportation and fuel costs ($7 million), charter school expansion ($3.5 million) and textbook purchases ($3 million), according to the site.

Funding for the teaching positions – all to be deployed in classrooms to address enrollment increases and program expansion – would come from savings accrued through reductions in base salaries due to permanent turnover and additional reductions across the system, the website said.

By an 8-0 vote, the Board also approved a $198.2 million capital budget that contains $120 million for construction projects at 10 schools: Northeast High School; Phoenix Annapolis; and Point Pleasant, Annapolis, Lothian, Crofton, Mills-Parole, Rolling Knolls, Benfield, and West Annapolis elementary schools. It also contains $5.7 million in design and engineering funds for Severna Park High School; $10 million for full-day kindergarten additions at Severna Park, Bodkin, Oak Hill, and South Shore elementary schools; $9 million for open space classroom enclosures at Central Middle School and Broadneck High School; and $9.7 million for a classroom addition at Crofton Middle School and gym additions at Maryland City and Waugh Chapel elementary schools, according to the website.

The budgets chart the course for the school system for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2012. The Board has conducted two public hearings and solicited public comment through an online link. It also has conducted a public workshop on the budgets.

The Board’s recommendations will be forwarded to County Executive John R. Leopold, who will present his proposal to the county council in April. The county executive’s proposal will be considered by the county council before it adopts a budget that allocates funding within state categories in May. The board may shift funding within categories before it approves a final school system budget in June.