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BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES FISCAL YEAR 2014 OPERATING BUDGET THAT PROVIDES EQUIVALENT OF 3 PERCENT RAISES FOR EMPLOYEES, FUNDS NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL STEM PROGRAM AND OPENING OF PHOENIX ACADEMY

The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County today formally approved a $1.004 billion operating budget for the coming fiscal year that provides the equivalent of a 3 percent compensation increase for all school system employee groups and funds the opening of the county’s first middle school STEM magnet program and the Phoenix Academy.

In approving a budget that provided school system funding within state-defined categories earlier this month, the County Council included the equivalent of 2 percent compensation increases for school system employees. In approving the plan by a 7-1 vote, the Board shifted funding within the budget – while still adhering to the total appropriation allocated by the Council – to add an additional 1 percent increase for employees.

“I believe the decisions made by this Board today further advance our school system and make a statement that we stand firmly behind the employees who do so much for all of our children every day,” Board President Andrew Pruski said.

In separate actions, the Board also approved multi-year negotiated agreements with each of the four employee bargaining units that stipulate how the increases will be implemented. Those agreements contain the following provisions in FY2014:

  • Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (teachers, counselors, psychologists, etc.): 1% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective July 1, 2013; one full step increase effective January 22, 2014.
  • Association of Educational Leaders (principals, assistant principals): two step increases and a 1% COLA effective July 1, 2013.
  • American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 1693 (custodians, maintenance workers, etc.): 2% COLA effective July 1, 2013; 2% COLA effective January 1, 2014.
  • Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County (secretaries and assistants): 1.5% COLA effective July 1, 2013; one step increase, effective mid-year.

The terms of employment for employees not represented by bargaining units adopted by the Board call for a 3 percent COLA increase, with no steps or performance pay, effective July 1, 2013.

Superintendent Kevin Maxwell’s salary will not change as part of the Board actions.

The budget approved by the Board also contains funding for 31 positions to staff the new Phoenix Academy, 15 special education positions, and four positions to support the Sojourner-Douglass College program for Annapolis High School students. It also funds expansion of the AVID program at Corkran Middle School.

By an 8-0 vote, the Board also approved a $136.8 million capital budget that provides partial funding for projects at Annapolis, Lothian, Crofton, Mills-Parole, Rolling Knolls, Benfield, and West Annapolis elementary schools, and Severna Park High School. The capital budget also includes funding for open space classroom enclosures, kindergarten classroom additions and security-related upgrades.

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