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“Nationals October 2019

AACPS schedules two budget hearing workshops

| January 04, 2020, 04:02 PM

Rams Head

The Board of Education will conduct two public hearings next week on Superintendent George Arlotto’s recommended Fiscal Year 2021 operating and capital budgets.

The hearings will take place on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at Old Mill High School, and Thursday, January 9, 2020, in the Board Room at the Parham Building in Annapolis. Both hearings begin at 6:30 p.m. Those wishing to testify can sign up beginning at 5:30 p.m. Testimony will be limited to three minutes per person.

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Rams Head

Dr. Arlotto’s recommended $1.36 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2021 includes 195 additional classroom teaching positions to address near historic enrollment increases and reduce class sizes as well as compensation increases for employees.

More than 91 percent of the new positions in Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation are for employees who will have daily contact with students. The recommendation also contains 20 teaching assistants and permanent substitute positions, 11.2 cultural arts teaching positions, and two elementary reading/language arts teachers.

Fifty-seven positions will go to staff the new Crofton High School, which will open in September for students in grades 9 and 10. More positions will be allocated as the school adds a grade in each of the next two years.

AACPS is educating approximately 1,700 more students this year than it did just a year ago, the greatest year-to-year increase in about 30 years.

Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation also funds nine additional school counselors,  two additional school psychologists, and an additional social worker to help meet the social and emotional needs of students. It also contains funding for 73.3 special and alternative education positions, 15 English Language Acquisition teachers, five bilingual teaching assistants, and two bilingual facilitators.

Elementary schools in the four clusters still without the innovative Triple E program – Arundel, Old Mill, Severna Park, and South River – would receive staffing and funding for the program under Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation. Positions would also be allocated to implement the program at Richard Henry Lee and Oakwood elementary schools, which could not begin the program this year due to constructed-related constraints.

Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation also would add seven prekindergarten teachers and seven teaching assists to increase the number of full-day prekindergarten programs across the county; fund seven positions in the Transportation Division to enhance bus routing and communications with families and bus drivers; and add four custodial and two preventative maintenance technicians in the Facilities Division.

More than $34.4 million in Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation is dedicated to employee compensation increases. Pending the completion of negotiations with employee bargaining units, that is sufficient to provide the equivalent of a step increase for all eligible employees, a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for all employees, and a back step for all eligible employees who were in an eligible bargaining unit or position in the 2011-2012 school year.

Dr. Arlotto’s $214.9 million capital budget recommendation includes $139 million for ongoing construction projects at Edgewater, Tyler Heights, Richard Henry Lee, Quarterfield, Hillsmere, and Rippling Woods elementary schools; as well as Old Mill West High School.

The capital budget recommendation also contains:

  • $9 million for full-day kindergarten and prekindergarten additions at Sunset and Van Bokkelen elementary schools.
  • $11 million for a classroom addition and cafeteria expansion at Arundel Middle School.
  • $3 million for the design of a new elementary school in west county, to be constructed on the west side of Route 3 in the vicinity of the Two Rivers community.
  • $4 million for the feasibility study and design of a new Old Mill Middle School South, to be built on the current Southgate/Old Mill Park.

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 14, 2020, in the Board Room at the Parham Building. No budget-related public testimony will be taken at the workshop or at the February 19, 2020, meeting at which the Board is scheduled to adopt its budget request. Should the Board offer amendments at the February 19 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.

Rams Head
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