At a December 16th meeting of the Harford County Board of Education, Interim Superintendent Barbara Canavan is set to recommend a $457.5 million operating budget for the fiscal year 2015 that includes $13.7 million to fund salary increases for employees. Other business on the Board’s agenda includes recognitions for award-winning students and staff, proposed revisions to policies on school attendance areas and school closure, plus a report on employee recruitment and retention.
First on the agenda, the Board will recognize state and regional athletic champions and sportsmanship award winners for 2013, plus the artist whose work was chosen for the 2013 HCPS Holiday card, Bel Air High School senior Samantha Bittle. A number of staff recognitions are also planned.
On the consent agenda, Board members will accept the monthly reports on personnel for October and November. Among the notable retirements, former Aberdeen High School Principal Tom Szerensits retired in October after 40 years with HCPS. Aberdeen students staged protests in 2011 when then-Superintendent Robert Tomback demoted Szerensits to an assistant principal position at Bel Air High.
Next on the consent agenda, Dr. Edna Hirsch, D.D.S. will be appointed to a second five-year term on the Board Ethics Panel.
Also on the consent agenda, the Board will approve supplemental appropriations to complete a $3,249,147 systemic HVAC and controls replacement at William S. James Elementary School. The bulk of funding for this project came from Maryland’s Energy Efficiency Initiative (EEI).
Improvements at C. Milton Wright High School are next on the consent agenda, with the Board set to approve the installation of two solar panel scoreboards at a total cost of $31,648, paid for by the Mustang Booster Club. Also at C. Milton Wright, the Board plans to approve a privately funded memorial garden honoring student Taylor Katherine Duff, Class of 2014. Ms. Duff passed away from brain cancer in January. Her friend and Eagle Scout candidate Adam Bednarek proposes to create the garden, which will include benches, flower beds and a monument.
Also on the consent agenda, the Board will approve a $185,000 contract award to AmSan for custodial cleaning supplies and related projects. Prices in the annual contract were established through a national contract for these items.
Under old business, Board members will render a decision on the proposed school calendar for the 2014-15 school year. In a departure from previous years, the proposed calendar creates a weeklong Thanksgiving break for students and no longer uses spring break as a source of makeup days when schools are closed for inclement weather.
Under new business, the Board plans an “administrative and supervisory appointment/promotion” decision that will be presented on Monday evening by Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Jean Mantegna. Ms. Mantegna will also present a report on recruitment and retention. No further information was published for these agenda items as of press time.
General Counsel Pat Spicer will provide the latest installment of the Board’s ongoing policy manual review. Spicer will present changes to two policies as recommended by the Board Policy Review Committee.
Proposed revisions to the Board policy entitled Adjustment of School Boundary Attendance Areas allow the superintendent to unilaterally recommend changes to school attendance areas, although such recommendations could not be enacted without Board approval. The revised policy further requires that the superintendent’s recommended changes be presented at a public Board meeting and at least one public hearing prior to final Board action.
Proposed revisions to the policy entitled Closure of a School include the state regulations governing the timeline for school closure. Except in emergencies, a school closure must be announced at least ninety days in advance, but no later than April 30th of any school year. According to the published presentation, Board Policy Review Committee members “believe it important that the public be made aware of the school closure procedure…”
Board action on both of the above proposals is expected following a minimum 30-day public comment period.
Nearly last, but not least, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jim Jewell will present Interim Superintendent Barbara Canavan’s recommended operating budget request for the fiscal year 2015 totaling $457.5 million.
According to the published recommendation, the request is a total increase of $32.7 million over the current (2014) fiscal year. The total increase is comprised of $13.7 million for wages, $10.1 million for employee benefits and a $8.9 million increase in the cost of doing business.
The Board will hold public hearings on the proposed operating budget in January prior to approving a budget request on January 27th for submission to funding authorities. The Board’s budget request is subject to funding approval by state and county officials. Salary increases are further subject to negotiations between the Board and the bargaining unions representing school employees.
The Board meeting will conclude with the superintendent’s report, provided Monday evening by Interim Superintendent Canavan.
The December 16th meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air, with the public comment period planned for 7:20 p.m. The published agenda appears below. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Board Open Session – 5:25 PM – Board Room
Board Closed Session – 5:30 PM – Board Executive Conference Room
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
*Times are approximate
Call to Order – Mrs. Nancy Reynolds, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Recognitions (Goal 2)
– Fall 2013 HCPS State/Region Interscholastic Athletic Champions & Sportsmanship Award Winners
– 2013 HCPS Board of Education Holiday Card: Samantha Bittle, Bel Air High School
– Louise Sublette Award of Excellence in School Nutrition: Beth Freeman, C. Milton Wright High School
– 2013-2014 Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) Emerging Leaders Award: Brian Harris, North Harford Middle School and Allison Hunsinger, Red Pump Elementary School
– 2013-2014 Simon McNeely Award Winners: Matthew Roseland, Physical Education, Patterson Mill Middle School and Ronald Stump, Physical Education, Roye-Williams Elementary School
– American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s R. Tait McKenzie Award: Ginny Popiolek
– Maryland Council for Social Studies’ Instructional Leader of the Year: George Toepfer
7:20 PM Public Comment
7:35 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:50 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goals 1 – 4)
2) Minutes of Previous Business Meeting: November 11, 2013 (Goals 1 – 4)
3) Minutes of Previous Special Board Meeting: November 18, 2013 (Goals 1 – 4)
4) Monthly Report on Personnel: October 2013 (Goal 3)
5) Monthly Report on Personnel: November 2013 (Goal 3)
6) Decision on Recommendation of Candidates for Board of Education Ethics Panel (Goals 1 – 4)
7) Decision on Supplemental Appropriation of Energy Performance Lease (Goal 2)
8) Decision on School Sponsored Project: C. Milton Wright High School Electronic Scoreboards (Goal 4)
9) Decision on School Sponsored Project: C. Milton Wright High School Site Improvements and Memorial (Goal 4)
10) Decision on Award of Contract for Custodial Cleaning Supplies and Related Products (Goal 4)
11) Resolutions (Goal 2)
– African-American History Month/Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
– Maryland Reading Month
– National Mentoring Month
7:55 PM B. Decision on Proposed 2014-15 Calendar, Ms. Teri Kranefeld (Goal 2)
– Informational Report
– Calendar Committee 2014-15
– Proposed 2014-15 Calendar
8:10 PM C. Decision on Administrative and Supervisory Appointment/Promotion, Mrs. Jean A. Mantegna (Goal 3)
8:25 PM D. Presentation on Recruitment and Retention, Mrs. Jean A. Mantegna (Goal 3)
8:45 PM E. Presentation on HCPS Board Policies, Patrick P. Spicer, Esquire (Goals 1 – 4)
– Adjustment of School Boundary Attendance Areas (20-0041-000)
– Closure of A School (20-0042-000)
9:05 PM F. Presentation on Recommended Board of Education Operating Budget FY15, Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 2)
9:25 PM G. Superintendent’s Report
9:35 PM Future Meetings Review
Hoping this budget is supported by the county executive. He tends to limit funds and stresses a lack of funds. 13.7 million is a lot more money in comparison to the 7.7 million they used to provide one step and cola raises back in 2012. Hopefully Mr. Power hungry, fully funds the budget this year, because it looks like Canavan wants to provide our missing steps as well.
Giving 3,000 teachers the four missing steps would be around $18 million, that doesn’t include $4.5 million for this year’s step or COLA (COLA is approximately $1.5 million for every percentage point). Retroactive pay for those four steps is somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 million.
For $13.7 million, you’re not getting anywhere near five steps, more like two and a COLA.
One, two, three or four steps is fine by me. A little or big token of appreciation is all we can ask for.
Well unless county revenues are significantly and unexpectedly up (doubtful in this economy), where does the school system think the money is going to come from? The obvious answer is tax increases, but the chances of tax increases in an election year are very slim at best.
The Money Tree says
Oh contrare; he can push the unrelenting onslaught of the development free for all thereby obtaining by volume what he can’t get by tax increases.
Not in one year he can’t. Actually, it’s not even a year, since I’m sure the bean counters are crunching the numbers right now to determine if property tax and income tax revenues are up, and if so, by how much.
They can request whatever they want, but with David Craig having his eye on the governor’s house I’ll be surprised if he’ll include pay raises in the budget…unless he thinks that after screwing over teachers, deputies, and other county workers for the past several years he can bribe everyone with a pay raise now.
Joppatowne Resident says
So again, the BOE is promising raises and including raises in their budget projections without speaking first with the County Executive and the County Council to see if they will have the funding to do it.
not quite so says
The BOE has approved nothing. This is just the recommended budget of the Superintendent and her staff. The BOE will get their first look at the recommended budget this evening. After tonight it will be up to the BOE to approve, modify, or disapprove the recommendations, including any employee raises.
Secondly when they approve it they are essentially asking the County Executive for the funds for it. They have made no promises to anyone!!!!
mostly blue says
Here we go again with a fictional budget negotiated between the school board and the unions without any data or financial input from the CE!!!. Can’t these guys just send it to Santa Claus and see if the North Pole has increased tax revenues, because the county sure doesn’t. Is the BOE willing to cut the fat and find savings in their current operations to at least fund part of the salary increase being proposed or will they just throw a fit again when the real budget numbers come out from the county????
it is not that simple says
Have you been paying attention? Cutting fat and finding savings is what has taken place over the past four years. Last year the school system had to cut programs and services to students, and eliminate staff to make up the difference between what county government provided and what the school system asked for. And that was without including any wage increases. Even if you remove the recommended wage increases for this year there is still an increase in operating expenses. Without additional revenue there will be even more cuts that will have a real and negative impact on students.
Per Jansen Robinson
The school system’s website indicates the following:
10 Schools under 70% Capacity through 2019
11 Schools under 80% Capacity through 2019
Yes but only 8 and 8 this year based on the projection. I wonder how those numbers reflect reality? Also I think the BOE is considering that based on the agenda this evening.
Looks like we can close Havre de Grace Middle and send them all to Aberdeen Middle. We could close Magnolia Middle and send them to Edgewood and Fallston and shift a few kids to Patterson Mill Middle and Bel Air Middle. Close Joppatowne High and send them to Edgewood and Fallston.
Obviously you are unaware of how the process works. Their budget request is being worked on now!!!! Not their actual budget!
I’m sure it will be a cold day in hell before Craig allocates every dollar the Board requests. It is a let down to read a headline suggesting teachers will get a raise when it will not happen. Most teachers hang-in there “hoping and praying” that it is true and procrastinate in the job search. To their deteriment, the waiting hinders his/her ability to actually find another job. So tired of it.
Bet he funds the budget plus the increase in cost of doing business no raises or benefits increase. Also bet he loses this county in the primary!
@CDev … I hope your privy to information that the general public is not and you win this bet because this situation is so exhausting. People in general, not just teachers, are feeling very hopeless in this stressful economy. Many rainy day funds have dried up and people cannot deal with another reduction in pay. If the news in correct and Obamacare is driving up health premiums, we will not have two pennies to rub. I’m feeling very disenfranchised.
Y me? says
Unless hell freezes over, the CE will never fully find the budget or raises. Period.
@ y me… We must be twins, because I feel just like you and know with certainty that we aren’t getting raises again.
Earn the raises if you want the community to support them.
Graduate students who do not need remedial classes at HCC, stop whining in front of your students about your pay or personal lives, support after school activities and tutor the students that need help instead of running for the parking lot before the buses are even out of sight, don’t show up hungover or half asleep because you were up until midnight celebrating the Ravens, etc.
If you (and your peer group as a whole, due to the wonders of collective bargaining) provide a product with declining value to your employer, you shouldn’t be surprised if your wages are held flat or decreased. If you want to be paid for every hour of work you put in, get an hourly position. If you feel the above perceptions do not apply to you, advocate for pay-for-performance so you can be compensated for your efforts fairly and without being held lockstep to a schedule solely based upon your years of experience and degree.
Kharn's Daddy says
I just wanted to let you know that these “raises” that you are referring to aren’t “raises” at all. When teachers sign their contract, they are given a salary schedule which show them compensation for years of service to HCPS. What teachers want is compensation for the work that they have done over the past 5 years. So, they have earned that.
Pulling the statistic from a Community College was pretty classy. I wonder how many strudents from HCPS have to take remedial classes after they are accepted to four-year colleges.
Have a great day Champ!
They are technically longevity increases, intended to compensate teachers for their increased experience and contributions in the classroom. Unfortunately, many older teachers are content to retire-in-place and give up, and other teachers just never get their role in the classroom and are terrible teachers their entire career.
I’ve been more than happy with several younger teachers in my children’s education, and wish the school would pay them appropriately instead of simply saying because they have X years, they get Y pay.
Funny how when the county refuses to fund step increases you insist that they don’t have to since it’s not in the negotiated agreement. Yet when teachers work the exact hours, and only the exact hours that ARE stipulated by the negotiated agreement, you gripe and whine that teachers are not hourly employees and should work more than they are contractually required to.
If you want the negotiated agreement followed to the letter of the law, then fine. But that means it applies to EVERYONE. By contract, the county doesn’t have to fund step increases. By contract, teachers have to work 7 1/2 hours per day for 190 days. You don’t get to use the contract when it suits your interests, then expect the employees to work longer than the same contract when it also suits your interests.
So which way should it be? Should the contract be followed or not? But before you decide, remember that whichever you choose means it will be that way for everyone. Hold back the step increases because the contract says you can, but then don’t gripe when the employees work only the hours they are obligated to work by the same contract!
You are a pure definition of a hypocrite. Among other things.
My opinion of the current contract (including the clause for HCPS to not pay steps per funding availability) and what I wish the next contract would include (taking steps from horrible teachers, giving them to the rock stars) are two totally different things.
The 190 days at 7.5 hours per day is a mandatory attendance period, not the extent of a teacher’s duties. Many white-collar companies with salaried employees have core hours of (for example) 9-3, that doesn’t mean they expect their employees to only work 30 hours a week, they still expect the assigned work to be done on time, under budget and to the performance standard (so arrive early, leave late or work from home, but get your assigned work done so the customer is happy and be in your seat in the office during those hours). Just because some teachers choose to reuse worksheets (including typos, poor questions, etc), test via Scantron instead of essays, refer confused students to Wikipedia instead of answering questions and show movies so they can be done in 1425 hours does not mean their methods meet community expectations.
The contract states clearly that teachers are obligated to be on duty for 7.5 hours per day, 190 days per year. Your original comment was critical of teachers who leave their workplace when they completed the time required by their contract. Your criticism is a moot point because you have neither right nor reason to expect teachers remain in their workplace past the contracted hours. No reason, of course, except for your own greedy and selfish sense of entitlement and your eternal envy of people who you perceive as possibly having better career situations than yourself.
Also, Kharn, your lack of satisfaction with what teachers accomplish in the 1425 contracted hours does not mean they owe you additional hours of free labor.
You really have a twisted sense of reality. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person with a greater sense of government entitlement, not to mention someone with such enormous greed. What makes it most disgusting is that you believe that other human beings owe you their time–blocks of their lives that they might spend with their own kids and families– and owe it to you without regard for themselves. They OWE you hours and hours of their lives just because you want it from them And you in return owe them NOTHING because paying them for the time they give would mean taking something away from you. So they owe you whatever it is you want, and you owe nothing to them.
You’re sick. You have a disgusting and repulsive attitude towards your fellow man. You have a greed of the worst kind, the kind that insists that other people were put on this earth to do nothing more than serve you. Just sick.
Did you notice my handle? Tired, I do all of the above for free.
Staying an hour late cleaning the bathrooms at McDonalds is free, staying an hour late at school is earning your salary.
I don’t even know what to say because you are making a lot of assumption or have a lot of misconception about teachers. There are a few bad apples that leave as the buses pull away, but that is not a reflection on the majority of teachers.
Amen…so if a teacher doesn’t voluntarily stay past their contracted time, they are a “bad apple”? Interesting perspective.
Kharn IS a Hypocrit! says
Notice how Kharn keeps insisting the teachers shouldn’t bet paid more, but then advocates pay-for-performance under the auspices that teachers will be “compensated fairly for their efforts”? As if he actually gives a rats ___ whether or not teachers are compensated fairly! At the same time, he constantly rips on teachers for being inept, lazy, etc. So what he REALLY thinks is that pay-for-performance will mean they will actually get to pay teachers even LESS than what they are making, not more, which in turn means he might pay less in taxes, which is all he is interested in—HIMSELF.
Not to mention, pay-for-performance systems are based on student test scores on standardized tests. But then a few comments later, he rips on teachers for using Scantron rather than essay tests! He wants teachers evaluated on kids performance on standardized tests because he believes this will mean less pay for them, but then he wants the same teachers to use essay tests because he believes this will be more work for them. And of course, all it would take is for kids to do well on an essay test and he would be crying foul because teachers could grade generously to make it look as though they are performing well.
He really IS a hypocrit!
Uhhhh, I really don’t think teachers who leave at dismissal are bad apples but Kharn does.
Ruport Spuvey says
Someone will counter the remedial courses by saying test scores are up.
Good test scores, graduate em’, get paid. That’s is the idea, its not their problem they can’t screw a light bulb after 12th grade.
John Cornul, AFM, BYUU, LLU says
Where can I fill out a hurt feelings report? Ha, ha, ha. I’m well educated, by my acronyms of achievement. I deserve a pay raise more than teachers.
Concerned citizen says
@ Kharn and those with the same opinion, if you think the teachers are not doing their job, home school your little brats.
George Wilburwright says
Well, uh, that’s what people are exactly doing, to Include private schools. I’m pretty sure declining public school enrollment shows some of that. Shame it hasn’t been a massive amount of people opting for alternative options.
Unfortunately, some cultural “social” mindsets of people is to have their kids get what they want exclusively to them, using “hot” off the frying pan words, ‘bullying’ is the latest catchphrase to get what you want since it goes ‘straight to the top’
Ah yes, because I’m not happy with the state of education in Harford and the actions of HCEA, my kids must be brats.
‘Whose house is of glasse, must not throw stones at another’
Not happy with HCEA doesn’t = bratty kids
Being a teacher that wants a raise doesn’t = being lazy and wanting something for nothing
Find a new job says
Show me a forum, message board, “blog,” of another job that has tons of people, or at least 2 people with 100 profiles that continuously complain about their job.
Is it really that bad? Compared to what you could be doing? I don’t know, hooking hoses up to septic tanks all day? Don’t bite your fingernails.
Whatever though, 190 days a year, 7.5 hours a day, dayshift, Snow Days (whatever color code). Did I mention Dayshift? I guess if one took their education, got a job
sitting in an office all day, they would have to work 365 days a year, salary, with the expectation of working more than 7.5 hours on some days.
Actually…if you read back over many of these threads, teachers really aren’t complaining about their jobs. In fact, mostly what I’ve seen is NON teachers complaining about teachers jobs, and at times, teachers defending themselves. So someone writes “teachers only work 4 hours a day”, then a teacher writes “no, teachers are contracted to work 7.5 hours per day, but usually spend much more additional time planning lessons, grading, attending required classes, etc”. The original poster says “well, if you don’t like your job, then quit!”, or something equally looney, when in fact the teacher never said they didn’t like their job: they just corrected someone who made an inaccurate statement about the teachers working hours.
What’s also funny is that many of those same people (Kharn, for instance) will then go on to state that teachers should be forced to work more hours than they already are contracted to, when in fact they already are. But again, when a teacher claims they are, they are A) lying, and B) complaining about their job. Kind of a no-win situation for the teachers, which of course, is exactly what many people here want.
Find a new job says
We can’t say who is, or isn’t a teacher unless they use their real name on here, so that statement is not worth speculating. People who appear to be against teachers getting raised could be teachers who are trolling the “blogs”, for example.
Bottom line, you need more money, the typical answer is to find another avenue of employment if you can’t get it at your current job. End of story.
If one makes 40,000 with a degree, and have an offer for 70,000 doing something else. What do you do?
Lazy Teacher says
@ Kharn/find a new job
This week is more of the same:
Wait, I shouldn’t complain. I have off next week. Paid time off. No, wait … Since I took remedial classes, I get confused, since I’m contracted for 190 days and I work 190 days does that mean I’m not get paid? A little help please.
Well, then I guess you can’t speculate that it is a teacher complaining, because it could very well be a non-teacher just trying to make teachers look like they are complaining.
So…any time you would like, or feel you deserve a raise, you shouldn’t request it. You should find another job. Got it. Interesting perspective.
BTW…I haven’t noticed any teachers asking for a 30k annual raise.
Concerned Citizen says
Don’t use my screen name, please.
ALEX R says
Love that new logo. How many raises could have been funded if HCPS hadn’t spent the money to design it, select it and then replace the old one in literally hundreds of places. Shows you what HCPS and the BOE think is important.
Not everyone inside HCPS or on the BOE supported the new logo. As I remember it the vote was very contentious and was narrowly passed. Perhaps you should do a little research and find out which members of the BOE voted for this. Then you can consider that when making your decision on whether to return certain members to the BOE at the next election.
The new logo cost $16,000. They used all the stationary and other items with the old logo until they ran out, then put the new logo on new orders. The money they spent would have given every teacher in Harford County a raise of $5.33 ANNUALLY.
Not that I’m defending that use of $$$. I still think it was unnecessary.
ALEX R says
Well you forgot about all of the buildings and equipment and vehicles that have had the logo replaced. The $16,000 was chump change compared to those items. And my point is that there is a mindset that thinks stuff like logo changes are important when the important stuff goes begging. But Cdev and Because will tell you there is no waste.
Kharn, you are a freaking riot, man!
You remind me of the old joke, where the guy asks to see the manager of the restaurant; the manager comes over and asks him whats wrong. The guy said his steak was AWFUL! It was burnt, it was cold, it was tough, it tasted like tree bark, etc. Then the manager says “Was there anything else wrong with it?” and the guy says “Yeah, the portion wasn’t big enough”!
“These teachers suck! They’re greedy, they’re incompetent, they don’t give a crap about the kids, they’re lazy, and they don’t even know what they are talking about!” Gee, Kharn, any thing else wrong with them? “Yeah! They won’t spend more time with my kids!”
Now THAT IS hillarious! Gawd, you just pegged our man Kharn! That is him to a tee!
Mr Pilkington says
Yowzah! and Hilarious! you are the same person.
Mr. P….Not quite….but you’re getting warmer.
Seems to me that it’s pretty sure you and Hilarious! are the same poster.