Mobilized by by a call from Harford County Education Association President Randy Cerveny, more than 100 Harford County teachers crowded the Board of Education meeting Monday night wearing red shirts reading “Respect” and “Time.”
Word has been spreading in recent days about a possible two-day furlough for Harford County Public School employees, which may come in conjuction with 5 furlough days for Harford County government employees.
Two of the speakers tried to address contract issues, one mentioned furloughs on Monday night, but were reminded by the Board of Education that the topic of furloughs could not be discussed.
Despite the gag-order, teachers were still able to get their point across, through their sheer presence and emotional testimony.
“I wish I didn’t have to bar tend to love teaching in Harford County,” said one local teacher, who has to work both jobs to make ends meet.
Harford County Education Association President Randy Cerveny was among the crowd and spoke of the 2,000 members of his organization. At one point, he asked all the teachers in attendance to stand.
Cerveny cited the state’s #1 ranking in education, Harford County’s top test scores and asked all of the t-shirt clad teachers in the audience to stand. Turning to the members of the school board he said: “These are the people who are responsible for your success.” Cerveny went on to say that teachers would like board members to be more present in the schools and that teachers “do not feel appreciated right now”. He said teachers wanted to do their best but needed more time, listing some of teachers’ newer responsibilities and saying that programs are often added without teacher input and are piled on without replacing older ones.
Also Monday night, the Board of Education voted nearly unanimously to transfer $10 million in county fund appropriations from the planned Red Pump Elementary School project to instead fund the proposed Campus Hills Elementary School.
During the roll call vote, board member Allison Krchnavy took a good, long pause before finally announcing she would abstain from the vote.
The vote simply makes the school system budget request comport with the unamended budget of County Executive David Craig, which at present includes funding for the Campus Hills Elementary School. Craig has said in public, however, that he intended to amend his budget to reflect the Board of Education’s support of the Red Pump Elementary School.
Should I be confused on what school we are going with? Cause’ I am
PMS Mom says
Did the Board ever vote to approve Red Pump over Campus Hills? I thought that vote was supposed to be last night. Now they are moving money to Campus Hills?? When (if) the Couty budget gets changed, does that mean the Board will have to move this money back? This is like some multi-million dollar shell game.
PMES Mom says
The BOE did vote. All voted in favor of moving money from Red Pump to Campus Hills except for the student rep who voted for Red Pump and Allyson Krchnavy who abstained, thus delaying a new elementary school being built to alleviate the over-crowding.
The budget will only be changed if the BOE votes to move the money to Red Pump so we are in a stale mate. County Council will fund Red Pump and the BOE has Campus Hills in the budget so …. This is a straight out politcal battle and our children are the ones suffering!!!!!!! I ask th BOE – what is your plan now?
If the County Council has to forward fund money for projects, shouldn’t they have a say in what school gets started first? Let’s go back to the fact that Red Pump was ready to go but the BOE without consent of the Council decided otherwise. There were MTBEs found in the filter at Forest Hill so why would the county want to take a chance of putting a school on a property near a gas station where they would have to BUILD a septic system and deal with this problem. I honestly don’t think most parents want to worry about that either especially if they have another choice.
If I was a parent of an elementary school parent I would be concerned because the way the Board is acting, there may not be an elementary school. Are there other schools that are slated for renovation that could add students?
Elaine not sure if any ES are slated for renovation. Joppatowne ES is being renovated to include AC finally. It and Magnolia and Riverside ES are all under capacity along with a few Elementaries in HDG. Both of those school districts are severlly under capacity.
Dave Yensan says
I believe that Hall’s Crossroads and Roye-Williams elementary schools in Aberdeen are also under capacity.
I attended an HCPS public info meeting in October regarding the upcoming elementary redistricting plans, when 2 new schools were still envisioned.
Even with both schools in the plans, parents were told that this would be a major re-allignment which might affect every elementary school to some extent.
The plan was going to be a 3 stage plan:
1. Focus on schools neighboring Red Pump for overcrowding relief on the west side of Bel Air.
2. Focus on schools neighboring Campus Hills for overcrowding relief on the east side of Bel Air.
3. Look at all other elementary schools in the county to adjust boundaries with neighboring schools to relieve elementary overcrowding.
Steps 1 and 3 above were to coincide with Red Pump opening in 2010, and step 2 a year later with Campus Hills opening.
It could have been a much cleaner redistricting had the construction timetable held, but it didn’t. There will be significant “leapfrogging” of redistricted students to fill either new school. The question is, will the game of leapfrog be played facing east towards Campus Hills, or west towards Red Pump?
Cdev, Magnolia ES is over capacity, and Riverside is just under, after being over last year – http://www.hcps.org/schools/docs/balancingenrollment/Sept2008Enrollment.pdf