The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County will discuss and adopt its Fiscal Year 2016 operating and capital budget requests at its next meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. The meeting will be held in the Board Room at the Parham Building, located at 2644 Riva Road in Annapolis.
Superintendent George Arlotto has recommended a $1.1 billion Fiscal Year 2016 operating budget that would fund compensation increases for employees, add teachers to address enrollment growth, and place a heavy emphasis on early literacy, elementary education, and English Language Learners as part of a focused effort to attack achievement gaps in the youngest grades.
Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation includes $11.8 million for compensation increases, which will be finalized when negotiations with the school system’s employee bargaining units conclude. It also includes $2.4 million for 33 additional classroom teaching positions necessary to address continued enrollment growth, which has seen Anne Arundel County Public Schools poised to surpass the 80,000 student mark next year.
In the youngest grades, Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation provides $2.5 million for expansion of the Enhancing Elementary Excellence (Triple-E) program, now in place in nine schools in the North County cluster, to 19 additional schools in the Chesapeake, Meade, and Southern clusters. The expansion will bring enhanced instruction to nearly 12,000 elementary students next year and provide crucial planning time for more than 500 teachers.
Dr. Arlotto also allocated $1 million for additional early literacy and prekindergarten programs. The funding would provide increased teaching services to children in Birth to Age 5 programs and 12 classroom teacher and teaching assistant positions to expand prekindergarten programs and provide additional service for another 240 youngsters across the county.
Also included in Dr. Arlotto’s recommendation is $1 million to continue expansion of the STEM middle school magnet programs at Old Mill Middle School South and Lindale Middle School, and launch a third STEM middle school magnet program at Central Middle School next year. It also includes $570,000 to continue the expansion of the Performing and Visual Arts magnet program.
Dr. Arlotto has also recommended a $163.1 million capital budget to the Board. It would allocate more than $100 million to fund construction projects at Severna Park High School, and Benfield, Rolling Knolls, and West Annapolis elementary schools, and design work at Manor View, High Point, Cromwell, Jessup, and Arnold elementary schools.
The recommendation also contains $11 million for prekindergarten and kindergarten additions at Eastport and Georgetown East elementary schools as well as West Meade Early Education Center; $6 million for gymnasium additions at Millersville and Woodside elementary schools; and $5 million for open space classroom enclosures at Glen Burnie High School.
Dr. Arlotto’s full budget recommendation and a Budget In Brief can be found here.
Public testimony on the Superintendent’s Recommended FY 2016 Operating and Capital Budget was taken at the Board of Education public hearing on January 8, 2015. Accordingly, no public testimony on the recommendation will be taken at Wednesday’s Board meeting. If amendments are offered by Board Members, public comment will be taken on those amendments.
The Board’s requests will be forwarded to County Executive Steve Schuh, 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 website, 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. High definition broadcasts can be seen on Channel 996 on Comcast and Channel 496 on Broadstripe. Rebroadcasts are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. the day after the meeting and 2:00 p.m. on subsequent Sundays.
The meeting can also be viewed live on the Internet here.
Archived videos of Board meetings can be found online here.