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BOARD OF EDUCATION SET TO ADOPT FISCAL YEAR 2015 OPERATING AND CAPITAL BUDGET REQUESTS

The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County will discuss and adopt its Fiscal Year 2015 operating and capital budget requests at its next meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. The meeting will be held in the Board Room at the Parham Building, located at 2644 Riva Road in Annapolis.

Interim Schools Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins has recommended a $1.04 billion Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget that 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.

Mrs. Perkins’ recommended $192.1 million capital budget 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.

The Board has conducted two public hearings on Mrs. Perkins’ budget recommendation, and will not hear public testimony at Wednesday’s meeting. Mrs. Perkins’ full budget recommendation and a Budget In Brief can be found on the AACPS web site, www.aacps.org.

The Board’s requests will be forwarded to County Executive Laura Neuman, who will present a proposal to the County Council in May. The County Executive’s proposal will be considered by the County Council before it adopts its budgets no later than June 15. The Board may shift operating budget funding within state categories before it approves a final school system budget by June 30.

The Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to vote to go into closed session, during which time it will discuss confidential matters as permitted by the Maryland Open Meetings Act including, but not limited to, legal advice, personnel, and negotiations. Closed session is not open to the public. The general session of the meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m.

A complete agenda for the meeting accompanies this news release. More information on agenda items will be posted on the AACPS Web site, www.aacps.org. in the Board Docs section under the Board of Education tab.

The general session of Wednesday’s Board meeting will be broadcast live on AACPS-TV, which can be found on Channel 96 on Comcast and Broadstripe, and Channel 36 on Verizon. Rebroadcasts are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. the day after the meeting and 2:00 p.m. on subsequent Sundays.

Archived videos of Board meetings can be found online at www.aacps.org/boardvideos.

Board of Education meeting agenda, 2-19-14