Harford Board of Ed Votes 6-1 To Approve 2% Salary Cuts For All HCPS Employees

The Harford County Board of Education voted 6 to 1 to approve a budget for next year containing 2% salary cuts for all HCPS employees. The vote came at a board business meeting Monday in Bel Air. Board Member Don Osman cast the only no vote, citing opposition to the salary cuts.

But the move by the school board is far from the last word on the FY11 budget, because funding from state and local government is not yet known.

The school board’s recommended budget goes next to County Executive David Craig, who will hold a series of public hearings on the county budget later this month. Craig will set local funding levels and as state funding is determined, the school board will realign their recommended budget accordingly. Added to the mix are salary negotiations, which occur concurrently with the budget process.

The final county budget, which includes the budget for public schools, will go to the Harford County Council for approval in late May. The council may cut, but cannot add to the overall county budget.

Finally, the schools’ budget will return to the school board for one last approval before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2010.

Here are the details of the upcoming county budget hearings:

- Monday, January 25, 2010 at Edgewood High School on Willoughby Beach Road in Edgewood beginning at 6:00 p.m.

- Tuesday, January 26, 2010 in the auditorium of C. Milton Wright High School, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Comments

  1. Lorrie says

    Wow, I am so glad that they listened to everyone’s thoughts in the county. I am of the opinion that we are paying our percentages into HCPS that we should get a say. Since they didn’t listen Craig needs to be aware of what we think. If they go ahead with all the big plans they have made for school construction this year it will be a slap in the face to the educators and support staff in the county.

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    • HCPSTeacher says

      wow!!!! do you see now why so many can’t stand the board of ed….they never even listened to anything reguarding other ways to cut. I can tell you now though, I will work only my required hours. The after school club that I run on my own time will be done after this year, and to all of you getting ready to make comments about this saying what a crappy teacher attitude this is and I should get a new career….TOUGH!!!!!!

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      • Larry says

        HCPSTeacher — don’t hate the players, hate the game. The BOE members are volunteers trying to play the cards that are dealt them. The County Executive tells HCPS how much money they can ask for on their budget, and the HCPS administration and departments try to figure how to get the same results with less net funding.
        This budget document is a rough draft at this point. Pay/benefit cuts will have to be negotiated through the unions. The county governnment may come up with additional funds somehow. There is a long process still ahead. Maybe county government cuts elsewhere (hearings next week) will allow an increase in the overall HCPS FY 2011 budget to keep from cutting salaries. It is all part of the game.
        I feel the pain that you and other HCPS employees have expressed, and hope that somehow pay cuts can be averted.
        The BOE members are playing in a game where the deck is stacked against them, and they are being expected to pull off a miracle. Don’t hate the players…

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        • Lorrie says

          The rest of the Board of Ed had the right to vote against the Salary Cut. I am sure if that would have been the case Tomback would have come up with another solution. I posted on the other discussion numerous ways money could be cut in the budget but it’s much easier for them to just cut salaries than take a look at the whole picture. For someone that supposedly developing economic programs for students of BCPS he isn’t doing that great of a job. The county government shouldn’t be held responsible for cleaning up the mess that the BOE is making. Everyone is going to be looking to them to make cuts in the rest of government to pay the teachers full salary when that should be the responsibility of BOE. I have said it repeatably also that for the BOE to be cutting salaries while continuing on construction projects is shear negligence.

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    • Tracy says

      Maybe if I was getting graded or it was a letter home to parents or even someone more important than you then I would. If it actually mattered then I would…Stick with the topic Jimmy. These are blog posts….

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    • Tracy says

      By the way JIMMY!!!! I thought names were suppose to be capitalized. Your name that is on your post has a lowecase “j” in front of your name. Before you make comments about my posts please correct yours….

      And staying on topic, I hope we all vote out the Board of Education members come election day.

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      • jimmy says

        Who said jimmy was my proper name? Also, if you find a way to vote out the school board, let me know. It has never been done in this county.

        And as to proper writing, it should always be done, or at least attempted. You are always a teacher no matter where you are or what you are doing. Setting a good example should be a top priority of a professional educator.

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        • Sandy says

          jimmy, it was new legislation just passed this past session. We, in Harford County, fought hard and are finally about to get a partially elected school board. It’s never been done in this county because it’s new legislation. We start with the next election!

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  2. justamom says

    Thank You Don Osman. It’s too bad we can’t have a few more independant thinkers like you on the Board.

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  3. Paraed says

    Professional/Instructional Salaries
    From $41,171 to over $71,688

    Support Services Salaries
    Custodial, Facilities Maintenance and Twelve-Month Clerical Salaries
    From $22,805 to $61,084
    ****taken from http://www.hcps.org

    “It is also important to note that the $190,000 base salary provided for in Dr. Tomback’s contract is in line with national data on superintendents’ salaries in other large school systems of 25,000 students or more. And finally, some of the benefits are similar to those found in other superintendents’ contracts, including that of Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas, whom Tomback will replace.

    With that said, here are some highlights from the contract, followed by the full text:

    - An annual bonus of up to 10% of the superintendent’s salary dependent upon the outcome of a performance evaluation, the form and process for which will be proposed by the superintendent and approved by the school board.

    - Annual cost of living adjustments (COLAs) and longevity pay, at the same rate and on the same schedule applicable to other supervisory/administrative employees within HCPS.

    - Health, dental, life and disability insurance, provided at no cost to the superintendent.

    - Annual payments for unused vacation, personal and sick leave.

    - One-half of the cost of the employee contributions and all of the employer contributions to the Maryland State Retirement System each year and $10,000 in contributions to a qualified tax-deferred annuity in year one, increasing by $1000 each year thereafter.

    - An all wheel drive vehicle, including the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs.

    - A home office, including personal computer/laptop, personal digital assistant (PDA)/ cell phone, fax machine and printer.”
    ***Taken from article in daggerpress

    2% cut….if you make 22,000….not fair

    Does the BOE get paid? Just curious.

    As a paraed;that 2% includes us. Are you kidding me? I have been reading comments on here. Anyone that says its OK to cut 2% from my pay;I invite you to go shadow a ParaED for a week. See what we do!Who is helping teach your child?Who is running the copies? Who has lunch duty everyday? Who gets paid 22,000??????You want to cut 2% from me?
    I am signing up for welfare and food stamps…as soon as they cut 2% from me.

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      • Paraed says

        What do the BOE members do for a living?What is there pay?That would make a HUGE difference if they are lawyers(doctors etc)- than if they were blue-collar workers. I don’t think someone making over a hundred thousand a year;can say a 2% pay cut is survivable or OK for someone making under $25,000.

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          • ParaEd says

            No different than what I figured.”Big bucks” deciding for “little bucks”.Disgusting!Sad!The only one that has any sense is Mr.Osman.They should be ashamed of themselves;for taking money from anyone who makes under $30,000. I mean really!This isn’t just about teachers;include the Paraed’s,Tech’s,custodians,secretaries-in your discussions on here.I would not think anyone would be OK with cutting the pay of a paraEd that makes $22,000.If you are OK with that;then you need to shadow one for a week.SEE what we do!

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  4. lpshawn1 says

    I really feel for these teachers who are the victims of this pay cut, but I feel even more for the students and how this pay cut could start an awful cycle. These teachers are the ones that interact with our future- If you have unhappy teachers, that will reflect into the classroom, which will lead to a less fulfilling education, which will lead to lower expectations of our children and what they do in thier adult life. Even if you disagree with a teacher’s argument on this matter, you cannot disagree that this trend will only have a negative effect on the children, and subsequently our hope to fix anything in the future. I’m sorry if some of you think this post is not articulated very well, but I do hope I get my point across.

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    • Joseph Caruso says

      lpshawn1 -

      Under your premise if we were to increase teacher salaries dramatically then the results would be happy teachers having a more positive effect on students and student achievement would skyrocket.

      Your premise is absolutely ridiculous and unsubstantiated.

      Joe

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      • lpshawn1 says

        You think that unhappy teachers would not have a negative impact on the kids? That a happier environment would not benefit them? That applies to any situation- a home, a work environment, a sports team, etc. It’s not neccesarily a linear relationship-it just seems like common sense to me. Teachers know what they are getting into when they get hired. They will never be making the big bucks, but that doesn’t mean we should take away what they agreed to when they were hired.

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      • Teach says

        Joe, she said nothing about a giant pay raise!!!!!! She was talking about a pay cut. Just out of curiosity, do you work in the HCPS system, or having any kind of teaching background. Think about it with any job. If your biggest boss gets over 200 grand a year (with incentives included), you make the minimal amount, you were going to get cut and the biggest boss still makes boku bucks, how would you feel? I know the economy is crappy, but when someone who doesnt even come into the school and teaches kids is making almost 4 times as much, kinda degrading. Teachers DO NOT teach becuase of the money – I personally dont teach for the summers off either (I have to find a job over the summer to pay the bills), I truthfully love working with the kids – hopefully that is the reason why most do it. Us teachers arent asking for raises, we just dont want to get cut. Its bad enough we are supposed to get a step pay and a COLA increase, but that didnt happen last year, not this year, and who knows when it will happen. Just gotta think about the whole big picture….happy teachers/workers does usually make a happier enviornment – and unhappy co workers usually makes for an unhappy environment ( look at the people who end up shooting up the place when they get laid off)…..

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      • Ryan Burbey says

        No teacher is asking for dramatic increases. We onoly ask for what we deserve: A Fair Living Wage!

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      • Grizz says

        Even if teachers broke even with no salary cut this year, that would still be 2 years without any raise whatsoever, not even a COLA. I am a teacher. I can say with absolute certainty if I earned a higher wage, I would absolutely be willing to work harder, stay at school later developing better lessons, grading etc. With two years of no pay raises, struggling to pay bills, guess how much motivation I have when your child asks me to stay after school for extra help? It’s about the same as the extra cash in my bank account. Not much.

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  5. Peacenik says

    the salary cuts are across the board, the money that the administration is allotting for other depts. has not be cut at this time and the the money from the capital budget is not cut either. The boe and school budget is not sacrosanct. The money is not being used most effectively or as efficiently as possible. If the teachers and the school staff were questioned and provided input in the budget, where were their ideas at the boe meetings? I am not sure that the admin. used the best judgement, but I haven’t seen the staff show up and share either. The salaries of our school’s staff are not the only place to cut. If staff cannot adjust then let the staff find other jobs. I am not sure that the county taxpayer can continue to fund the superfluous expenses of the administration. I think that there are many very strong and positive programs w/n the system. There is also a bunch of “stuff”. Perhaps the employees need to be in on the budget planning, and realize that there is only so much money.
    The capital budget is growing in large chunks over the next 4 years. Perhaps the schools operating budget should be addressed first, and the buildings, fields, and other capital improvements need to be put on hold until the operating budget is balanced, and not on the salaries of our staff. The tactic is quite similar to what the library did during last years budget turmoil. The long range focus of the school admin. system and the county in general is not being addressed or acknowledged by the school admin. in this budget. It seems that the solutions to the budget are among the people funding the budget, the staff, the county residents—all of us taxpayers.

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    • Chris says

      What everyone has to realize is that a broad two percent cut is the complete wrong way to go about things. Teachers are the ones who educate your children. Positions such as mentor teachers and teaching assisstants should go before teacher salaries are cut. There are positions out there where we pay people to go find the kids that aren’t in school. That is a parents job not a job of the county.

      Renegotiate the contracts so that bad teachers can be fired. To many good teachers are going to be hit by a pay cut. Understand the problem. Bloated bureaucracy and unneeded positions are a detriment to our children’s education. Fix the inefficient system don’t just give it a hair cut.

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  6. HCPS TEACHER says

    ATTENTION: Aberdeen Middle School is spending 35k+ to change all the locks on all the doors! (classrooms too) I’m serious. It should be completed by the end of February. They have money for that needless crap, but not for the people who teach our children. There is nothing wrong with the doors or the locks. Just wasteful spending. Ask yourself???? Why is that principal spending such precious money on changing locks?

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  7. Listen! says

    Aberdeen Middle School is spending 36K+ to change the locks on all the doors. Even the classroom doors! Why?? There’s nothing wrong with the locks they have now! Who would approve a request for money like that!?!? What a waste of money….oh…wait, let’s take the money away from teachers because there’s no where else we can take it from…right?

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    • Teach says

      cant you go to wal mart and get locks for like ten bucks a piece..lol…but nooo they probably have to order them out of some spiffy catalogue…this is the kind of stuff that really pisses me off…grrrr

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  8. Mike G. says

    This is true! The locks should be replaced by February. Must be nice to have 36,000.00 sitting around to spend on useless projects. I mean, they school already has exterior locking doors with video cameras already. WHAT A WASTE!

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    • Tracy says

      Well the principal at Aberdeen Middle School is a piece of work anyway…She should be one of the ones to go…I know that would make her staff happy and you would not have so many voluntary transfers year after year from that school. A good principal can make all the difference……

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      • Ryan Burbey says

        I personally can not speak for the entire staff but I find Ms. Krantz to be fairminded.

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  9. Dawn says

    A 2% pay cut is ridiculous, especially when we aren’t talking about high grossing jobs. Every year they ask you to do a little bit more for a lot less. I loved my job, but I was getting too frustrated by all the hypocrisy and the fact that I couldn’t provide for my family that I decided to leave education. It was an extremely emotional and difficult decision, but when I read about even more pay cuts, I know it was for the best. How many other good teachers are going to walk as a result of this pay cut?

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    • Teach says

      I think a lot of us have to really evaluate their money situations, you are so right…its kinda scary :/..bad enough most teachers have to get a job on the side just to get by….

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    • Kate says

      Dawn I certainly don’t blame you for being upset and like so many others on here, I think the Board didn’t even look into many of the suggestions made. Do they ever? If they come out now and say they did I am just wondering when that discussion took place because it wasn’t in front of anybody.

      What kind of jobs could teachers be getting right now unless it is another teaching job (yes I am aware that Baltimore County put step increases into their budget). I know of many people who have lost their jobs and it isn’t always easy to get another one. State employees are taking another big hit again too.

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  10. jimmy says

    Teach,

    Is your other job during the months you have off? Or is it over the Christmas, spring, or some other break?

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    • Lorrie says

      I think we are getting off subject here, the real matter all of us are here to discuss is the Salary Cuts not pick at others. Let’s use our energy proactively and get something accomplished rather than make jabs at other careers. And jimmy they are planning to change to an elected BOE which will be a great step in the right direction.

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      • Tracy says

        I can’t wait for the elected school board…hopefully all but one of them will probably be voted out. Moving to the elected school board is the best decision yet and many have fought hard for it. I for one can’t wait to cast my ballot. Also, does anybody else know if other counties have the superintendant on the Board of Ed?

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        • Sandy says

          Tracey, it is going to be a partially elected school board, not fully. But the majority will be elected and it will be a big improvement! It was a long hard fight with Mary Dulaney James fighting against us all the way. Let’s not forget all the dishonest ways she tried to stop it.

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    • Paraed says

      My job,not that you were asking me…but I have a part time all year round…on top of my full time one with HCPS. I just got home from job #2. I use to have the job(I am in my 5th year at part time)-for extra spending money;now I need it to pay bills.I have a huge headache;because I am really upset about this pay cut.Plus, the people on the board;there lack of care really bothers me.Sorry for butting in Jimmy.I wasn’t being rude really;just giving you my experience.

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      • Tracy says

        Paraed…Jimmy was being rude to you…His comment about when we have other jobs is sarcastic. He is saying that we have too much time off during the school year. Don’t apologize to him. He comes on here making comments to get people riled up.

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        • Paraed says

          Oh jees;I did not realize it was a sarcastic thing.Wow!I don’t understand some of the postings on here. I read a lot of it. There are several people that aren’t even in the school system,that are making cmments about our jobs. How is that possible? That would be like me commenting on all the highs and lows of being a nurse;I am not a nurse-how could I comment on that? Being a parent of a HCPS student;does not give you a special outlook on our jobs either.I see why some have given up writing on here.Thanks Tracey;you seem to make a lot of sense.

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          • Sandy says

            Paraed, when your job is to serve the public, the public has the right to comment. I recently spent some time in 3 different hospitals. I had many nurses in that time. I could tell you which ones were doing a better job that others. I could tell you which ones were caring, which ones were not, which ONE put an IV in my thumb that hurt like crazy. I most certainly could tell you which ones did a better job at taking care of me. Just like when you choose a doctor. Don’t you choose the doctor who you think does the best job, is the most knowledgeable, makes you the most comfortable? You aren’t a doctor, but you have a way of choosing the best one for yourself.

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          • Paraed at lunch says

            People are certainly right about you;your in every conversation. You criticized someone, about commenting on all your posts-you do exactly the same thing.WoW!Yes, you can choose a doctor or a nurse you like.Of course! But,you can’t make comments on what their work is like,administation,pay,co-workers,patients-how would you? You’d have to “walk a mile in their shoes”-and I don’t think you are in a position to do that.Just because you volunteer or are a parent of an HCPS student;its not the same.

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          • Sandy says

            Paraed, my comment was to someone who was following all of my posts with nasty comments. This forum is for debate and sharing information. I can certainly comment on how certain HCPS employees and policies affect my children, which is really what a teachers job is all about. If my children learn a lot, the teacher is doing a good job, if my children are not learning-and they are trying, not goofing around-then the teacher is not doing a good job. It is pretty much as simple as that.

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    • Ryan Burbey says

      The idea that t4eachers have months off is largely erroneous. Most teachers wrok year round or are working on required continuing education and professional development.

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  11. Tracy says

    Teach,
    You are right. I know many teachers at my own school who waitress at night when they get off from school. Some work at Target in the evenings after school and many other retail places. I actually work every other weekend for a doctors office.

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  12. RavensFan says

    I encourage all teachers and other members of the community who are against the proposed budget cuts to attend one of the county council meetings next week OR put your thoughts in writing and mail a letter to David Craig and the county council members. Spouting off on a message board is good…but getting in touch with the people making the decisions is even better.

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    • EaglesFan says

      Make your voice heard. Email Craig and tell him you will NOT vote for him if he supports this. Go to the meetings and voice your concerns. At this point, parents voicing their concerns over how this pay cut will detrimentally affect their children is the only way that a change can be made. Teachers’ opinions on this issue have clearly been disregarded. Parents, we need your help!

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      • Sandy says

        Eagles Fan,
        Parents get ignored just as much but you want to take your concerns to the County Council instead of the county executive. They have more control over the school budget.

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  13. wonderful says

    Cut us by 2%!
    7.5 hours…..thats all your getting from me;if this cut happens.I love the kids;but Im done with all the extras. Good luck!BOE-you have a lot of nerve. DON OSMAN for PRESIDENT!!!!!!The only guy with any sense;and why? Oh yeh,he actually worked in the system,for the system and knows the system.Thats why he voted “no”. He knows how much waste there is;that could be cut way before our pay.Thanks Don!Alright Mr.D Craig;what are you going to do now?Please help us….please!

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    • Tracy says

      YEP!!!! 7.5 hours is all you get from me too…..David Craig needs to go as well…He will be all for the pay cut even though he will say in public and to the media that he is saddened by it.

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      • Ryan Burbey says

        I agree completely. We as employees should only preform duties which we are contractually bound and for which we are compensated until the BoE and superintendant return to treating teachers as respected and valued emplyees which are crucial to the development of our children and economy.

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  14. two cents says

    I have a question for all of the teachers posting why haven’t any of you brought up redistricting instead of spending money on new schools. I would think that all the money spent on new school construction could be put to better use toward your salaries and pay increases. According to hcps report as of Sept. ’09 there are five elementary schools under 70% Why do we need the Red Pump school?

    http://www.hcps.org/schools/docs/BalancingEnrollment/ES_MS_HS_ENROLLMENT_PROJECTIONS_2009_11.pdf

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    • Tracy says

      two cents…you are right in a way. Redistricting is such a hot topic in this county and redistricting would solve some of the money problems. However, you can save even more money by cutting out school waste already in the schools. I did ask my principal a few months ago where they were coming up with the money for the new elementary school on Red Pump. She said that the money to build and supply the school with furniture is a totally separate fund from the state. However, the teachers, busses, etc…after it is built comes from the county…So there you are adding on just more waste. The problem with redistricting if you remember the last couple of times it has been done is that it caused such an uproar with parents. School boards listen to parents much more than they ever do to the teachers. What we need are parents flooding the board of ed meetings and county council meetings complaining about the waste in schools and we might get somewhere.

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      • Sandy says

        Tracy, they don’t care what parents think either, it is just as bad. We talk to them and they LIE about what we say. Contrary to what the BOE would have everyone believe, we weren’t upset about the redistricting. Of course they had to redistrict if they were building a new school. We are not stupid as Volrath would have you believe. We even finally got through to Joe Licata and he saw our point, but here’s what happened. They moved us out of Fallston and took Fallston down to approximately 80% of capacity. I don’t have my paperwork handy and the baby is sitting with me matching Mickey. Our arguement is why move so many of us to Bel Air when the plan is to put a magnet school at BAHS. So now FHS and FMS are way under capacity. They aren’t building in Fallston, it isn’t in the development envelope. BAHS is about at capacity, with no room for the magnet. They could have moved less kids and had room for the magnet. Instead the moved so many out of Fallston they actually had to move so many out of BAHS that they way overcrowded PMMHS. Remember, no one could go no PMMHS unless they came from BAHS. Now PMMHS is so overcrowded that once they finish Edgewood High School, which is already under capacity and they are building it even bigger, they will have to move PMMHS kids to EHS. At least this is my theory. We will have to wait and see if this is what happens.

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          • Sandy says

            Tracy, and the maddening part is that they would never explain it to us! We had meeting after meeting. We had the numbers, we knew what was happening, and they just kept lying to us. They insisted Fallston’s numbers weren’t going that low. Well, of course they were, there was no doubt. They had charts with how many kids were moving from each school. Now that we will have a partially elected board, which we fought HARD for and will forever be in debt to Barry Glassman for, we are hoping in the future we will get real answers to our questions. If they have a good reason, just tell us. But to lie to the parents whose children they are educating is inexcusable.

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    • Ryan Burbey says

      Unfortunately, capital funds can not be spent on salaries. So redistricting will not solve our problem. However, if you look closely at the districting in Harford County fyou will notice some rather odd shaped configurations which seem to make little or no logical sense.

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      • Sandy says

        Ryan, redistricting really does make a difference on your salaries. If you have a school, such as FHS, that is at 72% of capacity starting next year after the fazing is complete, you have a whole staff to pay. The teacher to student ratio may remain the same, but you have secretaries, AP’s, custodial staff, guidance, and on, and on, and on. That doesn’t come out of the capital budget.

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  15. native, not naive says

    Taxpayer, 2 kids in HCPS. I fully support our teachers. These bozos running the shell game need to go. How about NOT installing artificial turf, re-evaluate the bus routes, etc. Don’t mess with someone’s salary!

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    • Tracy says

      Native….How true…Did you know that our high school football fields are better than some of the NFL football fields are? Give me a break…right there is a ton of waste.

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      • DW says

        I keep hearing this, but never anything backing it up…which HCPS high schools have better fields than which NFL teams?

        My high school had the by far the best football field in the state (I’m not from MD originally) because it was only used for home games and graduation (so maybe 7-8 times a year at most.) We used to refer to it as “God’s Field” and they dumped a ton of money into it, but I wouldn’t consider it better than an NFL field and I haven’t seen any HCPS football field that was better than my old high school’s…granted I haven’t seen all of them, but I have seen and been on PMHS, JHS, AHS, FHS (though not recently), and EHS fields.

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    • Sandy says

      Parks and Rec. is sharing the cost of the turf fields so….and I don’t know the answer to this…..is it cheaper for the school system to pay for all of the grass fields or to share the cost of the turf fields?

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      • Cdev says

        Maintaining a grass field that is heavily used (as the athletic surface is) can be more expensive then maintaining a turf field.

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    • Ryan Burbey says

      Please tell all your family and freind. We need all the help we can get to fight this goliath.

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  16. Stop the Absurdity says

    Interesting. We are going to cut teachers salaries but yet we are worried about seating for two new board members? Do they REALLY need another monitor or two up there with the rest of you? Can they not sit in an uncomfortable chair like the rest of us do when we come to meetings? And if we are looking at something this small, how many other area’s can we cut so that our dedicated teachers are getting paid?

    How about not opening the school on Dec 23 for one crappy day and having to put all that money into heating the schools – just to shut them down 4 hours later?

    We could always go to an 8 hour day for students and close the schools on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. SAVE SOME HEATING COSTS! And we would STILL be able to get the kids out earlier in the year to cut back on A/C by doing that. We can make the 1084 mandatory hours of school very easy with that plan!

    There are a LOT of things we COULD do… but they aren’t bothering. They want to keep the status quo and not look for a real solution – they just pray that the economy gets better real fast.

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  17. First Citizen says

    Two cents,

    Remember, everytime redististricting comes up, parents who think that their kids are going to be moved to a ‘lesser’ area raise holy he’ll. Remember the peole in forest lakes who went insane because their kids were going to go to Bel Air instead of Fallston. I know several people who were going to move because of it. And you can forget aboutit if people are looking at being move to Route 40 schools.

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    • Cdev says

      Something I always found odd about that. If they are moving a whole neighborhood, and you believe you are the best people in the school would you not improve the quality of your new school, simply by your prescence?

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      • two cents says

        I agree with all the arguements regarding cutting spending other than salaries first. I just do not understand why utilizing the capacity we have currently does not make sense.
        Building a new school is expensive then you have to staff it and maintain it. Why not consolidate undercapacity schools in the same areas and transfer staff from an old (expensive to maintain) undercapacity school that is closed to the new school. That coud be an option with Roye-Williams, Halls Crossroads and Hillsdale – all are in the Aberdeen zipcode.

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      • Sandy says

        Cdev, if you read my response, you will see it had nothing to do with school quality. It’s about not disrupting our kids education. Fallston and Bel Air are both good schools. Very different, but both good schools. In fact, Fallston’s and Bel Air’s PTSA’s were working together on this. It was never about the schools, it was about the stupidity of moving more than twice as many kids as they had to.

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        • Cdev says

          Look I get the kids who started a school but the arguement by some folks was ” I want my kids to go to _________ because I went to _________ and it is a family tradition.” Look that is not rational. Also some insisted that Bel Air was inferior to Fallston. We never needed to move the kids from Joppatowne to Fallston. Aberdeen needs some relief!

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          • Sandy says

            Cdev, they had to move kids from JHS to FHS or FHS would be below 70% of capacity and there would be no room for the magnet at JHS.

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          • RavensRule says

            Cdev,

            You are right as always…

            From the HCPS Website:
            Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Program

            History and Acknowledgements
            In 2003, the idea to bring a unique set of courses to the students of Joppatowne High School was conceived. This idea quickly materialized into a program based on the emerging job market of the region, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP). It is estimated that the Homeland Security industry is increasing from the 40 billion dollar business of 2004 to a 180 billion dollar industry by 2015. The program at Joppatowne High School will introduce students to careers and educational experiences available in this ever-growing industry. In the fall of 2007, a select group of Joppatowne High School sophomores will enter the first course in this program.

            Mission
            The mission of the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Magnet Program is to provide to the students of Harford County and eventually to the State of Maryland, the ability to have access to career pathways in homeland security studies to offer them a better education and more choices to allow them to provide services back to the community, the State and the Nation.

            Program Information
            The Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Magnet Program will include three career pathways:

            Science, Engineering & Technology

            Homeland Security Sciences, Health & Human Services

            Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Business, Finance and Information Technology, Information/Communication Technology

            http://www.hcps.org/schools/high/joppatowne/homelandsecurity/default.aspx

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          • RavensRule says

            Ahhhhhh Cdev,

            Right on target as always…

            From the HCPS Webpage:
            Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Program

            History and Acknowledgements
            In 2003, the idea to bring a unique set of courses to the students of Joppatowne High School was conceived. This idea quickly materialized into a program based on the emerging job market of the region, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP). It is estimated that the Homeland Security industry is increasing from the 40 billion dollar business of 2004 to a 180 billion dollar industry by 2015. The program at Joppatowne High School will introduce students to careers and educational experiences available in this ever-growing industry. In the fall of 2007, a select group of Joppatowne High School sophomores will enter the first course in this program.

            Mission
            The mission of the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Magnet Program is to provide to the students of Harford County and eventually to the State of Maryland, the ability to have access to career pathways in homeland security studies to offer them a better education and more choices to allow them to provide services back to the community, the State and the Nation.

            Program Information
            The Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Magnet Program will include three career pathways:

            Science, Engineering & Technology

            Homeland Security Sciences, Health & Human Services

            Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Business, Finance and Information Technology, Information/Communication Technology
            To Learn More about our program, please contact Joppatowne High School at: (410) 612-1510

            Curriculum
            The Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Magnet Program curriculum is scheduled to be piloted in the Harford County School District in the 2007-2008 school year.

            For more information on the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness High School Curriculum, please contact Frank Mezzanotte, Harford County Public Schools.

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          • says

            Homeland Security is not a magnet in the true sense as you have to be in the JHS attendance area to be in the program. There is no application process and no one gets transportation.

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          • Cdev says

            Correct Chaiteaparty. If Rav…bothered to check out the magnet program page at HCPS he would see the IB program, the AG program, the Vo-Tech Program and the SMA! No Homeland Security!

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          • RavensRule says

            Gosh you are so right Cdev…Especially since it says in the text “Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Magnet Program”

            I would say the reason it is not considered a full magnet is 1.) still in GCC hands and 2.) funding.

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          • Kate says

            In Harford County, we call those “Signature Programs.” There has been confusion from the beginning ever since they created the SMA. SMA was created in conjunction with the Army Alliance and the Army Alliance was involved with procuring funding for the start up and curriculum development. Ever since, we have been talking about “magnets” even though parents told the school system years ago they wanted better quality instruction in the home schools (see the Town Hall meetings hosted by the Board and suggestions ignored).

            The Ag Magnet at North Harford was approved but there is no money for staffing. They just said that at the meeting last week. For it to be a true magnet (and not a “signature program”) transportation needs to be provided. The only two places that occurs is at the SMA and at Harford Tech. Why weren’t there V0-Tech classrooms developed in the new Edgewood high school? The community was begging for them …

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          • justamom says

            Plus the Homeland security Program gets funded by a federal earmark from Dutch Rupperburger.

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          • Sandy says

            Cdev, that’s correct, but they are looking to make Homeland Security a magnet in the future, at JHS.

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          • Sandy says

            Justamom, the Homeland Security program received a grant, but it is not funded by the federal government. It is funded by HCPS.

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    • Sandy says

      First Citizen, no,no,no….. First off, none of us went insane. OK, none of us that truly went on to fight it went insane. The issue wasn’t redistricting. They built a new school, of course they were going to have to redistrict. They certainly couldn’t leave it empty. The BOE and upper management at HCPS lied,and continued to lie to the public about the problem. We got the numbers of the children they were moving. Not the pretty Volrath chart numbers, but the real numbers, how many kids were actually moving from each school to each school. First off, they didn’t come close to adding up to Volrath’s numbers. Why? I don’t know. We couldn’t get an answer. The real reason, he gave Jackie what she wanted.

      We took those real numbers and, thanks to our numbers guy!, discovered that FHS and FMS were being taken down to around 80% of capacity. Why? They aren’t in the development envelope? No one would be moving in. They moved so many kids that BAHS would have been way over capacity but they left just enough there to keep it close to capacity. This was done to try to trick the AIC into funding more of BAHS, tricking them into thinking HCPS needed more space. With a few well timed phone calls, from us to the AIC, oops, the cat was out of the bag. Otherwise this would continue to happen to other people’s children. So with BAHS just near capacity, they had no room for the magnet program they wanted to put there. And to keep BAHS from being over capacity, they had to transfer so many kids to PMMHS that now THAT school is over capacity. And I’m betting it isn’t an accident. EHS is way under capacity, and it is being built larger. Guess where the over crowded PMMHS kids will be going to school when EHS is finished. There is no excuse to have this big shuffle of kids! There were so many ways they could have moved less kids, it seems their goal was to move as many as possible!

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      • Larry says

        First Citizen and CDEV,

        Please understand the numbers that the “Forest Lakes people who went insane” saw in the 2006 proposed redistricting, and were unable to get the administration to acknowledge:

        At the time of the redistricting decision, Patterson Mill MS was projected to open with a 700 seat capacity and Patterson Mill HS with 900 seats. They were in complete control in determining the attendance area for the schools, and their current enrollments are 775 and 949 respectively. Their plan moved too many students from Bel Air to Patterson Mill.

        At the time of the redistricting decision, the new Bel Air HS was projected to open with a 1600 seat capacity. Simultaneous with the redistricting and new school construction, the BOE was working on a plan to open a 200 seat magnet program within the 1600 seat new school building, thereby reducing the available seats for students in district at the new BAHS. Thankfully, the magnet is on hold, and when the redistricting phasing is complete next year, the projected enrollment for BAHS is just under 1600 students. Again, their plan moved too many students from Fallston to Bel Air.

        When phasing is complete next year, Fallston HS will be left with an enrollment of about 72%. Why? Again, their plan moved too many students.

        Understand the history. Forest Lakes ES went from zero relocatables to six as a direct result of the 2002 redistricting and implementation of full day K. At that time Forest Hill ES was projected to grow to have enrollment of 121% 4 years after the 2002 redistricting, but it never happened, and in fact they never exceeded 100% in the following years. Again, they moved too many students.

        Those of us who were going insane in Forest Lakes were doing so simply because what was obvious to us was denied, fought, ignored, discredited, etc. by those in power at HCPS.

        And, by the way, they moved too many students. And when the time comes to redistrict elementary schools, I hope they do a better job and move as few students as possible to balance enrollments.

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        • Sandy says

          Larry, and don’t forget, according to the judge, balancing enrollments can mean whatever they want it to mean. It doesn’t mean that each school has a similar % of capacity. It can mean one school is at 70% of capacity and another school is at 120%. Legally, obviously not logically.

          Also, just in case someone is thinking how wonderful it would be to have their child go to a high school that is at 72% of capacity, it’s not. There aren’t enough kids to support all the classes they want to take so they don’t have nearly the class choices they would at other schools. Not just the number of AP classes offered, but the number of science electives, history electives, etc. It’s a shame and it didn’t have to be that way.

          Linking back to teachers. A lot of teachers lost their jobs at Fallston and had to transfer to different schools. Some from middle to high school, some from high school to middle school. Many were NOT happy!

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          • Cdev says

            They didn’t lose their jobs they got involuntarily transfered! That happens to teachers every year. You know that when you sign on the dotted line.

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          • Cdev says

            They are not employed by fallston they are employed by HCPS. to lose their job they would have to be let go by their employer. Theiur employer simply restructured.

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          • Sandy says

            Mincing words is kind of a waste of time when we both know what the other means. The principals do the hiring for their schools and they are the ones to say they no longer want that teacher at their school. Yes, they are employed by HCPS, but they are then interviewed by the principals to see if they are a good match for their school.

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  18. DW says

    Allegedly Mr. Osman and his family have been getting numerous harassing phone calls either from the other board members or on their behalf because of his voting “no.” The board wanted to present a united front and Mr. Osman disagreed because he felt that there were other areas that should at least be looked at before approving across the board pay cuts. I’m sure he and his family can use any support they can get.

    Assuming what I heard (admittedly 3rd/4th hand) is accurate (via my wife who heard from her school’s HCEA rep), that’s pretty shameful and potentially illegal depending on what exactly is going on.

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    • Lorrie says

      That is absolutely horrible! What is wrong with people having their own opinion and voting that way. It goes to show that the majority of the BOE has no opinion of their own and vote the way that they are expected. Good for you Mr. Osman!! Believe when the BOE becomes an elected one we will remember you. Its time for the rest of the BOE stopped pushing their agenda, we need to put a stop to it before even more is destroyed in the HCPS.

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    • Tracy says

      I am not shocked about any of this…This is what they do to teachers as well. You speak against them and they make sure you are booted out of the system. The previous superintendent was the ring leader in doing this. We need a fresh start on the Board of Ed. We also need several people on Hickory Avenue replaced as well.

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    • Ryan Burbey says

      Mr. Osman is a true gentlema and needs all the support he can garner. Please let the rest of the board know how you feel.

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  19. First Citizen says

    Larry & Sandy

    Thanks for that additional information. At the same time, I am not surprised by the manipulation of the numbers by HCPS. But anynone who has worked for HCPS can tell you tht it is SOP to get what they want. Cdev does point out what a group of vocal citizens in tht area were also saying.

    On the whole it seems like a lot of these number games are a result of poor planning for construction/renovation and to make room for these pet magnet programs.

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  20. First Citizen says

    This whole situation with Mr. Osman, if true, is very unsettling. But not unheard of. The Board of Bobbleheads get very upset when they don’t get their way or anyone opposes their wisdom.

    It is also unsettling that the group that was open to ideas had already decided what they were going to do. But that is normal for HCPS. Make the decision then fake interest in what the public has to say. Welcome to the world of teachers.

    Maybe it is time to start a petition drive to express a vote of No Confidence in the Board of Bobbleheads and press for them all to quit.

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    • Kate says

      Not only will they not quit, the President fought against having an elected school board for many years. It is in their legislative platform. Spent a lot of time and energy fighting for what people wanted and then tried to say it was only a vocal minority that wanted an elected school board. Unfortunately, we have appointed members because of they fought the elected portion. Maybe because of the extra money it will cost, we can eliminate those positions and thank the legislators(by voting them out) who helped the Board fight elections.

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  21. KT says

    This is late, and I recognize no one is likely reading this anymore, but…

    1) No Board of Education member has been calling and/or harassing Mr. Osman. That is purely a ridiculous lie. How would anyone aside from a board member know this?

    2) The cuts proposed by teachers at public BOE meetings did not amount to anything close to 12 million dollars. Every one of those suggestions was analyzed, many of them before the original budget was presented.

    3) HCPS is making cuts. 83% of their budget is teacher salaries/benefits. They’re going to be reduced no matter what.

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  22. Teacher says

    First of all, it’s frustrating to see people complaining about the Homeland Security program at Joppatowne saying, it should be eliminated. The students at the Route 40 schools go without a lot of things other schools may have.
    It’s also frustrating to see people commenting who have obviously never worked in a school before. The school staff, from our custodians, to secretaries to teachers and administrators work VERY hard. Although the contract states that we have to be there from 7-2:20, how often do you think we stay for those hours only? Putting together a meaningful lesson plan, grading papers, making copies, getting materials around and additional supervision and coaching duties take extra time we are not compensated for. Special educators have to spend many hours of their own developing IEP’s and doing paper work. It’s upsetting to know how the community and others view educators- everyone got their start and where they are today because of education. I feel education is something we should place more value on, after all, it’s the future of our children we are talking about. Pay cut or not, I will return to the classroom and teach the same as I would if I were making a million dollars. However, that is not the point. Perhaps money could be saved by not putting a plasma screen TV in every school, or not giving Patterson Mill million dollar upgrades when it was just built… Or how about saving on transportation, or having the schools become more green? There are a million ways we can save to eliminate cutting pay, but I think cutting salaries is the easiest solution.

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    • Sandy says

      Teacher, I understand your frustration. As a parent and tax payer, the amount of money that is wasted drives me crazy. Same as watching the Federal Gov’t waste our money. I do have to point out that teachers themselves could start the saving money game. I volunteered on a “team” that basically did busy work. We photocopied pages and made them into “books” for every 1st grader, for each week, for every year. We are talking 8 pages each. Those copiers are paid for by the page and it would take us 4 reams of paper for each book. And they were ridiculous, one word on a page books. The kids took them home and threw them away, it was so far below an average kid’s level. No work was assigned from them. I have 3 kids who went through this. I also did all the laminating for our elementary school. For those teachers who don’t know it, laminating film costs a fortune! It’s worth it to laminate some things, I know. But lots of what we got was junk. We had one teacher who laminated every single Weekly Reader. Not one copy of it, every single student copy. Seriously!
      I know these things aren’t going to make the difference alone, but it is something to think about when you talk about waste. The upper management wastes a lot of money, but the teachers could help, even if just to make a point.
      As far as the Rt. 40 schools. Let’s be honest, although not necessarily politically correct. Rt. 40 schools have a lot of intervention programs that other schools don’t have. The other schools may not have as many kids who need those programs but they do have some that could greatly benefit from them. But because of where they live, they don’t have access. Have you looked at the amount of money spent on special needs kids compared to what they spend on gifted kids? Is that fair? We talk a lot about per pupil spending but it is not per “pupil”. That is an average number and much LESS is spent on kids who either don’t need or don’t have access to these programs.
      I also don’t understand your comment about the Homeland Security program as it relates to Rt. 40 schools. The first magnet program was placed at Aberdeen High School, a Rt. 40 school. The problem with Homeland Security being in Joppatown is because it is planned to become a magnet program one day. Joppatown is a small school. If you add 200 kids to that school for a magnet program you only have 500 seats left for the kids who live in that school district.
      I completely understand your frustration about the pay cut, and I think it is horrible and hope it is just some sort of bargaining chip used to get more money. And if that is the case, shame on the upper management and BOE for lying to us once again. I would like to know how much it costs HCPS to employ a teacher, salary, pension, and health insurance, etc. That would give us all a true number of what a teacher’s salary really is. Most people don’t have pensions, many pay their health insurance with no contribution from their employer. Are there 401K, disability, sick days, etc. as well? If you worked out of the government sector, you wouldn’t necessarily have all of those added on goodies.
      To clarify, I don’t like the pay cut. People budget their money to live a certain lifestyle. If you take that away, they may no longer be able to pay their bills and have to change the way they live if they haven’t had the forsight to save for such a thing. But when we are talking about how much teachers are paid, it is only fair to add in the whole package. HCPS does still have to fund those extras per teacher, so they have to be counted in when you talk about if teachers are underpaid, and by how much.

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      • a teacher says

        Sandy-

        I agree with much of what is said. The one thing that annoys me when parenst complain is that they always say “I am a taxpayer.” News flash–so are teachers! Why is it because we are paid with tax payer money do we suddenly lose the right to have a voice in how it is spent. Pretty much everyone who works is a taxpayer. It does not give any of us some supreme right to lord over everyone.

        With that said–laminating EVERY Weekly Reader–CRAZINESS :)

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        • Sandy says

          a teacher, You are 100% correct. You are also a taxpayer and deserve as much say in these matter. I didn’t mean to sound as if being a tax payer gave me “special” rights, I was just listing that as my interest in this issue. My first concern is as a parent, my second is as a tax payer. I believe that any parent and any tax payer should have a say in this decision. Parent for the obvious reason, and tax payer because it is half of our tax money going to HCPS. I think that goes for teachers as well. However, for those of us who do not get paid from tax money there is a little extra frustration involved. That frustration, for me, is about the waste, not about the teachers salaries.
          And Weekly Readers are a real pain to laminate. Anything thin like newsprint has a real tendency to wrinkle!

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      • says

        So Sandy, Just to clarify, it is unfair that the route forty schools (G4), who struggle to make AYP or who are in corrective action from the federal government, receive intervention money. Just wanting to understand what exactly you are saying. Lets not help Billy read, but spend that money to let William read Chaucer.

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        • Sandy says

          Chai, to be honest, this is a hard question for me. First of all, I don’t believe the Federal Government has any right to be involved in our schools. That is straight from the constitution. Schools should be run by the state with no interferance from the Feds. But I don’t think that is what you were really asking me.

          I do believe in intervention programs, but I believe just as strongly in gifted programs. We need both. And I have advocated for both. I helped to set up a program at AHS, where we found mentors at APG who come to AHS after school to tudor and to help guide students to take the classes they need to reach their career goals. I don’t want to see any money taken from intervention programs that are proven to work. Proof being the key word.

          However, and I know this is not politically correct, at a certain age you can tell the kids who are average, who are struggling, and who are gifted. HCPS seems to have the goal to make sure that everyone comes out average. I think this is a mistake. When you have a child who is truly a genius, truly gifted, has a very high IQ, there are no programs to push these kids. Why hold back a child who could just fly if given the chance.

          I have kids in all categories. One was bored out of her mind in elementary school. She went to kindergarten in Baltimore County and worked as the teacher’s helper. She tested above a 5th grade level in reading and math, that was as high as they could test her since it was an elementary school. The school system refused to let her skip a grade, HCPS, and she honestly was bored. The only thing she really learned was to keep herself organized. She’s a serious dancer, even back then she took classes for hours every evening and weekends, and she learned good time management skills. Middle school came around and was just as easy for her until she hit Geometry in 8th grade. By that point, she didn’t know how to learn. She was never pushed so she never learned about sitting and figuring things out. She would eventually get it, but it was usually after a tantrum of some kind. Then she would calm down and get to work. Not being challenged in elementary school made things much harder for her as she got older. By the time she was in high school, she was struggling with figuring things out even more. She was challenged with AP classes and I think she would have had an easier time if she would have been challenged all along.

          Another of my children is a pretty average student and things have worked out well for him. He is a sophomore now and things are well. If I could get him to turn in all of his homework we would be in great shape.

          My middle child is a genius. We were lucky that she has a late birthday and started kindergarten at age 4. She had eye problems and struggled with fine motor skills. She could read anything you gave her, but had trouble writing her letters in kindergarten. Once her eyes were fixed and she outgrew her clumbsiness, she took off. This is my child who taught herself to read at age 3 1/2 without me even knowing it. One day she just started reading books to me. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that she was the most self motivated of my kids. When she learned something in school she would tell us about it and want to find out more. Using the internet, books, libraries, whatever, she always pushed herself. I wish she would have been pushed more in school, put that isn’t the way it works at HCPS. In high school she chose to go to the Science and Math Academy and she is finally being challenged and pushed. My oldest daughter, who has an IQ that is 1 point below this daughter would have crashed and burned at the SMA because she didn’t know how to learn. She is in her second year of college and is doing well, but she could have done so much better. HCPS needs programs for kids like my daughter too.

          I understand your point about needing to spend more on special needs kids, so they can be the best they can be. But in the same respect, don’t we owe it to the very gifted students to be the best they can be. These are the kids that may one day do really big things. It just doesn’t make sense to hold back the “smartest” kids because for the most part they have the most potential.

          Yes, I know I am stereotyping, but I am going with the odds here. We want to give these kids every chance to shine, just as we do with every child. The way HCPS does it now, if you are average you are fine. No extras needed. Think of all the things we could be missing out on if we spent the same resourses on our very brightest students.

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