Budget cuts and teacher protests are likely to dominate the next meeting of the Harford County Board of Education. The budget decisions affecting next school year are on the Board’s June 10th meeting agenda, which, in turn, prompted the teacher’s union to plan the protests. The Monday meeting agenda also includes recognition of champion student athletes and a proposed memorial to Steven Hardy, former principal of North Bend Elementary School.
Now that education funding levels for the fiscal year 2014 have been set by county and state government, the Board must cut its spending plans by approximately $19 million to match available resources. Among the items likely on the chopping block is $7.7 million to fund a 1% cost of living increase for all employee;, and a scheduled step increase, or roughly an average 3% raise, for eligible employees.
Anticipating the Board’s move, Ryan Burbey, president of the Harford County Education Association representing county teachers, has called upon his 1,900 members to rally outside the school administration building prior to the start of the Monday meeting. Burbey has also called teachers to “work to rule” by working only their contracted hours beginning Monday through the start of the 2013-14 school year.
In addition to cutting negotiated salary increases, the Board is also expected to cut a number of positions in order to balance next year’s $444.2 million operating budget with available funding.
Unwelcome as it may be, cutting positions is at least familiar to Board members who last year at this time cut 66 classroom and related positions to help fund a 1% COLA and a step increase that were negotiated for the current school year between the Board and the bargaining unions representing the school system’s approximately 5,400 employees.
In other business at the Monday meeting, Board members will recognize individual student-athletes and sports teams that have won Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) championships or sportsmanship awards for the 2013 spring season.
On the consent agenda, former North Bend Elementary School Principal Steven R. Hardy will be memorialized on school grounds in the form of a tree to be planted by the North Bend PTA. Hardy was a beloved principal at the school for twenty years prior to his retirement in 2010. He passed away in June 2012. The planned memorial would be the first under the Board’s new policy allowing memorials under a specified approval process. Click here for a link to the new policy.
Also on the consent agenda, a total of six bus contracts would be transferred from IMA Bus Company, Inc. following a request by the company to Day Bus Company, MADBAR Transportation, LLC, and McGuirk Brothers, LLC. The transfer has been endorsed by Cornell Brown, HCPS assistant superintendent for operations, and Charles Taibi, director of transportation, following interviews with the receiving companies.
Contract awards up for approval on the consent agenda, include a $1,761,989.93 award to Eastern Food Services, Inc. of Laurel, MD to supply and deliver a variety of foods for the school lunch program next year, and a $627,199 contract with Royalle Dining Services, Inc. of Owings, MD to supply the program’s snacks and non-carbonated beverages. Both contracts carry a term of one year, with an option to renew for four additional one-year terms.
Also on the consent agenda is a “Decision on Department of Special Education Contracts for Related Service Providers.” No further information was provided on this agenda item at the time of publication.
Finally on the consent agenda, the storm water management system at Hickory Elementary School is currently in violation of county storm water management regulations, necessitating repairs to bring the system into compliance. Angler Environmental of Odenton is set to receive a $134,288.47 contract award for the repairs, pending board approval.
Violations of storm water management regulations figure into another agenda item requiring board approval Monday to transfer funds among budget categories in the (current) fiscal year 2013. The first of three transfers would allow for needed storm water facility repairs at a total of seven sites at a cost of $250,000. Funds originally budgeted for electricity, now available due to the mild winter, will be used to pay for the repairs. The second transfer between current-year budget categories would use $250,000 originally budgeted for instructional salaries to fund higher-than-expected costs for instructional equipment and pupil personnel workers. Finally, a total of $175,000 in the current-year budget for unemployment insurance and custodial salaries (available due to turnover) would reimburse the Department of Juvenile Justice as required for children in state service who received instruction during the 2012-13 school year.
As usual, the board business meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Robert Tomback.
The June 10 school board meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is scheduled for 6:55 p.m.
Below is the published meeting agenda. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Board Open Session – 4:55PM – Board Room
Board Closed Session – 5:00PM – Board Executive Conference Room
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
*Times are approximate
Call to Order – Mr. Francis F. Grambo, III, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Recognitions: (Goal 2)
– 2013 Spring MPSSAA Interscholastic State/Regional Champions, Sportsmanship Awards
6:55 PM Public Comment
7:10 PM Introductions
7:15 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:30 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Affirmation of Monthly Contracts (Goal 4)
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: May 28, 2013 (Goals 1 – 4)
3) Decision on Transfer of School Bus Contract (Goal 4)
4) Decision on Distributor Food Products Bid (Goal 4)
5) Decision on Snacks and Non-Carbonated Beverages (Goal 4)
6) Decision on Department of Special Education Contracts for Related Service Providers (Goal 3)
7:35 PM B. Decision on Transfers Between State Categories for the FY13 Budget, Mr. Jim Jewell (Goals 1 – 4)
7:50 PM C.
Decision on the Board of Education’s Proposed FY14 Operating Budget,
Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 2)
8:30 PM D. Superintendent’s Report
8:35 PM Future Meetings Review