The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County will hold two public hearings next week on Interim Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins’ recommended $1.04 billion operating budget and $192.1 million capital budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
The hearings will be held at 7 p.m. on the following dates:
● Tuesday, January 7, in the auditorium at Old Mill High School
● Thursday, January 9, in the Board Room at the Parham Building
Mrs. Perkins’ recommended operating budget would fund expansion of programs of choice at four schools, launch a second STEM middle school magnet program, and open the county’s first contract school in west county.
The proposal, a 3.5 percent increase over the current year’s budget, recommends the addition of 75 positions across the system, 73 of which would be school-based. The recommendation also fully funds existing negotiated agreements with two employee bargaining units and provides a compensation placeholder equivalent to a 2 percent increase for all other employees.
Mrs. Perkins’ recommendation, which contains just $5.1 million in program enhancements, would add 32.4 teaching positions to address needs directly tied to continued growing enrollment. Anne Arundel County Public Schools currently serves 78,490 students and is projected to surpass the 80,000 mark in the coming years.
In addition to those positions, the budget recommendation contains funding for 5.5 teaching positions to staff the third year of the Performing and Visual Arts High School campuses at Annapolis and Broadneck high schools, two teaching positions for the fourth year of the BioMedical Allied Health magnet at Glen Burnie High School, two teachers for the second year of the STEM magnet at Old Mill Middle School South, and two teachers to launch the county’s second STEM middle school magnet at Lindale Middle School.
Also among the recommended additional positions are two elementary school counseling positions, seven school-based positions to work with students in English Language Acquisition programs, three school-based bilingual facilitators, and two American Sign Language interpreters to assist deaf teachers in their classrooms.
Also included in Mrs. Perkins’ recommendation is $5.8 million to open the Monarch Global Academy Public Contract School in Laurel, which will offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and help ease overcrowding at Brock Bridge, Jessup, and Maryland City elementary schools.
The capital budget recommendation contains no new projects from the current year’s budget. It is nearly $50 million less than the school system’s FY2014 capital budget request.
Included in the plan is more than $18 million for ongoing renovation projects at Annapolis, Crofton, Lothian, and Mills-Parole elementary schools; and $95 million of construction funding for Severna Park High School and Benfield, Rolling Knolls, and West Annapolis elementary schools. The recommendation also contains $10 million for full-day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten additions at Jacobsville, Jones, Nantucket, and Seven Oaks elementary schools; and $9 million to continue efforts to enclose open space classrooms with projects at Magothy River Middle School and Meade High School. There is also $6 million requested for gymnasium additions at Millersville and Woodside elementary schools.
Mrs. Perkins’ full budget recommendation, a Budget In Brief, and the text of her remarks to the Board can be found on the AACPS web site, www.aacps.org.
Those wishing to speak at either hearing will be allotted three minutes each. Speakers can begin signing up at 6 p.m. on the night of the hearing.
In addition to the hearings, the Board will conduct a budget workshop at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, in the Board Room. The workshop is open to the public, but no testimony will be taken.
BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
The Board of Education’s three-member Budget Committee will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7, at Old Mill High School. The committee consists of Board members Amalie Brandenburg, who serves as chair, Andrew Pruski, and Deborah Ritchie.