Faced with lower than requested funding levels for next year, the Harford County Board of Education will consider budget cuts at a June 11th board business meeting where a rally for higher salaries is being planned by the employee unions representing teachers and school support personnel.
According to Jim Jewell, assistant superintendent of business services, unrestricted operating funding for Harford County Public Schools will total approximately $424.9 million from all sources in fiscal year 2013, which is less than the $444.3 million originally budgeted by the school board and down nearly $4 million from the current year.
The school board’s funding request to county government for next year included salary increases for all school employees, who have not had raises for the past three years.
Despite the requested increase, operating funding from Harford County government will remain essentially flat in fiscal year 2013, except for a pass through of $5.5 million dedicated to the cost of teacher pensions, which are being gradually shifted by the state to the counties. State aid to HCPS will decline next year by $4.48 million, according to Jewell.
Staff recommendations for specific cuts to the fiscal year 2013 budget are expected at the June 11th meeting. Board action is expected sometime prior to the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
Advocating for higher salaries, the Harford County Education Association and the Harford County Educational Services Council, the unions representing teachers and support personnel respectively, are planning a rally beginning at 3:00 p.m. on June 11th in the parking lot at Bel Air High School that will culminate in a march to the school board meeting at the A.A. Roberty Building on Hickory Avenue. Together, the two unions represent approximately 4,300 HCPS employees, or 80% of the total workforce, in labor negotiations with the school board. Not all represented employees are members of their respective unions.
Also on the June 11th agenda for the Harford County Board of Education, Superintendent Robert Tomback will recommend a transfer of funds between budget categories for the current (2012) fiscal year. A total of $550,000 is to be removed from the budget for employee health insurance and transferred to the following three line items where costs are expected to exceed budgeted amounts: textbooks and supplies, instructional equipment, and school based activities. Budget officials expect that employee health care costs for this year will be less than expected due to changes in enrollment plan selections.
A board decision on “Special Education Contracts for Related Services” is also planned. No further details have been published for this agenda item.
Also on June 11th, winning teams from the 2012 Destination Imagination Global Finals tournament will be recognized. A team from Bel Air Middle School won second place at the international creative problem-solving competition; and a team from Bel Air High School, comprised of students from both Bel Air and Patterson Mill high schools, won third place. Both teams participated in the “Hold It!” challenge, which focused on architectural design and structural engineering.
HCPS Musical Composition Contest winners will be recognized. Students entered the contest by submitting a musical score and recording of their own composition. Winners were selected based on overall originality, composition and musical appeal. Begun in 2011, the contest is open to all high school students.
Individual student athletes and teams that have won spring 2012 Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) championships will be recognized, along with sportsmanship award winners named by the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference (UCBAC).
Winners of the state eCYBERMISSION competition will also be recognized. eCYBERMISSION is a free, web-based science, math and technology competition for students in grades six through nine sponsored by the U.S. Army. Three Harford Technical High School ninth graders participated in eCYBERMISSION and placed first at the state level, each earning $500.00: Connor DeLancy, Leah Reusing and Madison Riley.
Cornell Brown, assistant superintendent for operations, is expected to make a presentation of data related to the condition of school facilities. According to the published presentation entitled “School Environment Data”, all Harford County public school buildings will have air conditioning by September 2012 with the exception of the Alternative Education Center, where funding has been requested. Surveys of indoor air quality and site security, along with semi-annual physical plant inspections have been administered at all 54 schools, according to the presentation. Property/safety inspections, planned for 10 schools annually, are proceeding ahead of schedule, with 19 schools inspected thus far.
As always, the meeting will conclude with a report by Superintendent Tomback.
The June 11th school board meeting is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. in the boardroom at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is planned for 7:20 p.m. Below is the published agenda for June 11, 2012; please note that published agendas are subject to change.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF HARFORD COUNTY
A.A. Roberty Building
102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, Maryland 21014
Telephone: 410-838-7300 FAX: 410-893-2478
Customer Action Line (24 hours): 410-638-0022
Web Site: http://www.hcps.org
JUNE 11, 2012
7:00 P.M. Call to Order – Dr. Leonard D. Wheeler, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
7:05 P.M. Recognition
– Destination Imagination Global Tournament Winners
7:20 P.M. Public Comment
7:30 P.M. Introductions
7:35 P.M. Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:45 P.M. A. Consent Agenda:
1) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 4)
2) Minutes of Previous Meetings: (Goal 1-4)
– May 21, 2012
– May 31, 2012
Presentation, Discussion and Possible Action Item(s):
7:50 P.M. B. Decision on Transfers Between State Categories for the FY12 Budget, Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 2)
8:10 P.M. C. Board of Education’s Proposed FY13 Budget, Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 2)
8:30 P.M. D. Decision on Special Education Contracts for Related Services, Ms. Ann-Marie Spakowski (Goal 4)
9:00 P.M. F. Superintendent’s Report
Future Meetings Review