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BOARD OF EDUCATION ADOPTS $1.15 BILLION OPERATING BUDGET THAT PROVIDES COMPENSATION INCREASES FOR EMPLOYEES, ADDRESSES STRUCTURAL DEFICIT IN HEALTHCARE FUND

The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County today approved a $1.15 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that will provide compensation increases for most eligible employees and address the structure deficit in the school system’s healthcare fund.

The Board made no changes to the plan adopted by the County Council on June 14, 2017. That plan provides funding sufficient for a full step increase for most eligible employees and a similar increase for non-represented employees. It also provides more than $20 million in one-time and recurring funding to address the structural deficit in AACPS’ healthcare plan.

The operating budget, which is $29 million more than the current year’s budget, also contains sufficient funding to open the Monarch Annapolis Public Contract School in September.

“This is the culmination of a long process, and I am grateful for the collaborative manner in which this budget was crafted,” Board President Stacy Korbelak said. “We all realize there is only so much money in the pot, but this budget allows us to fund our key priorities for the coming year.”

Though the Board had previously ratified negotiated agreements with three bargaining units – the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC); the Association of Educational Leaders (AEL); and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 1693 (AFSCME) – the budget approved by the County Council did not fully fund those agreements. As negotiating teams for the Board and the bargaining units work toward a new agreement, the Board today approved terms of employment for FY2018 that call for a full step increase for all eligible employees in those bargaining units, a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for bargaining unit employees who have topped out of the salary scale, and a phased-in multi-year increase in the percentage of healthcare premiums and prescription drug co-pays paid by employees.

The Board today also approved a negotiated agreement with the Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County, the only bargaining unit that had yet to previously reach an agreement. The agreement provides a 1.11 percent COLA for all SAAAAC employees and a full step increase for all eligible employees. It also phases in a multi-year increase in the percentage of healthcare premiums and prescription drug co-pays paid by employees.

Because SAAAAC did not have an agreement in place before the County Council adopted its budget, the Board today voted to seek funding set aside in a County contingency fund in order to support the agreement.

Also today, the Board approved terms of employment for non-represented employees that included a step increase for eligible employees, a 1 percent COLA for those non-represented employees who have topped out of the salary scale, and a 2 percent COLA for employees who are not otherwise eligible for steps.

CAPITAL BUDGET

The Board today also approved a $197 million FY2018 capital budget that contains funding to continue design and/or construction projects at Manor View, High Point, George Cromwell, Jessup, Arnold, Edgewater, Tyler Heights, and Richard Henry Lee elementary schools, as well as the Crofton Area High School.

In its budget deliberations, the County Council increased the funding allocated by County Executive Steve Schuh for renovation projects at Edgewater, Tyler Heights, and Richard Henry Lee elementary schools by a combined $2 million, splitting that money nearly evenly between the three projects.