The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County today unanimously approved a $1.14 billion operating budget request for Fiscal Year 2017 that includes more than $15 million for compensation increases for all employees and eliminates a portion of the funding for a proposed shift in school hours that would have largely aligned with medical recommendations.
The budget request is $1.75 million less than that proposed by Superintendent George Arlotto in December. It will now be forwarded to County Executive Steve Schuh for consideration.
After removing funding for the $8.1 million start and dismissal times proposal by a 6-3 vote, the Board voted 7-2 to include $1.4 million to be used for future school hours initiatives. The Board did not put forth a plan to use that funding, and school system officials said that if it is included in the Board’s final budget in June, it would not impact school hours before August 2017.
The Board made one other change to Dr. Arlotto’s proposal, increasing by $5.0 million the amount requested to replenish the school system’s health care fund, which has been drawn down in recent years as the County has used the funding in other parts of the budget. The request now stands at $20 million.
The Board’s approved request includes:
- $15.5 million for full step increases or the equivalent for employees.
- $3.2 million for 33 new teaching positions to break even with ongoing enrollment increases and 10 additional teaching positions to begin to assist in the goal to reduce growing class sizes.
- $1.5 million to add seventh grade at the Monarch Global contract school and support AACPS’ charter schools.
- $449,000 for six special education teachers.
- $358,000 to add four English Language Acquisition classroom teachers and an interpreter for the International Student Services Office.
- $169,000 for three additional bilingual facilitators to provide critical assistance and support to non-English speaking families.
- $1.2 million for 11.5 teaching positions to expand the Enhancing Elementary Excellence (Triple-E) program to the nine elementary schools in the Chesapeake and Northeast clusters.
- $654,000 for four positions to enhance the STEM programs at Lindale and Central middle schools.
The Board also unanimously approved Dr. Arlotto’s recommended $255.6 million capital budget. The request allocates more than $74 million to pre-existing renovation projects, including Severna Park High School and Manor View, High Point, George Cromwell, Jessup, and Arnold elementary schools.
It also includes:
- $10.4 million for feasibility study and design funding for renovations to Edgewater, Tyler Heights, and Richard Henry Lee elementary schools, and $6.7 million in design funding for a new Crofton area high school.
- $10 million for prekindergarten and kindergarten additions at Odenton, Woodside, and North Glen elementary schools.
- $10 million for a classroom addition at Odenton Elementary School and gymnasium additions at Woodside and Millersville elementary schools.
- $7 million for open space enclosures at Chesapeake High School.
- $1.6 million for renovation work at the Carrie Weedon Science Center in Galesville, with the expectation that we will be able to open a prekindergarten program for 80 students in South County in the fall of 2017.
The Board’s requests will be forwarded to the County Executive, who will present a proposal to the County Council on May 2. 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 adjust operating budget funding within state categories before it approves a final school system budget by June 30.