From Harford County Public Schools:
A brief overview of the Proposed FY 2016 Budget:
The difficult economic times of the past several years have had a significant impact on state and local funding for school systems across the nation. Harford County Public Schools has worked tirelessly to develop a fiscally responsible budget. As experienced in recent years, HCPS continues to face ongoing budget challenges as revenue has failed to keep pace with system demands, legal mandates and cost drivers such as pension and health care for employees and retirees. In addition, HCPS has an ongoing structural deficit created by spending one-time year-end funds (fund balance) for ongoing expenditures.
The fiscal year 2016 unrestricted fund budget includes increases of $16.5 million for wages, $5.5 million for employee benefits, a $3.2 million increase in cost of doing business and a decrease of $ 1.2 million for cost savings and reversals for a total increase of $24.0 million. Combined with a projected decrease in revenue of nearly -$2.3 million, our funding request for fiscal year 2016 from Harford County Government is an increase of $26.3 million over the prior fiscal year. The $26.3 million request includes a $1.3 million increase of teacher pension expense to be transferred from the State of Maryland to the local funding authority for fiscal year 2016.
The proposed increase in salary/wages reflects our goal of maintaining a competitive salary structure within the market, especially with our neighboring counties. As a result of a step increase and 1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) once in the past six years, it is our intent with this budget proposal to avoid falling further behind. By law, the Board is required to negotiate with each of the five bargaining units in Harford County to establish salary, wages and other working conditions. As such, in order to bargain in good faith, no outcomes regarding this increase have been defined at this time. The Board will collaborate with the bargaining units to reach such an agreement.
The Board of Education of Harford County met on December 15, 2014 for an open business meeting at 6:30pm in the Board Room of the A. A. Roberty Building and took the following actions and received the following presentations:
– 2014 HCPS Board of Education Holiday Card:
Artwork by Anaiya Watkins, Magnolia Elementary School
Music by Myia Johnson, Patterson Mill High School
– 2015 Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Teacher of the Year Award:
Ms. Jessica Willson, Adapted Physical Education, John Archer
– 2014-15 Simon McNeely Award Winners:
Debbie Bosler, Edgewood High School
Brandan Buerhaus, Southampton Middle School
Wendy Feight, North Harford Middle School
– Barbara Durso, Church Creek Elementary School- 1st grade teacher celebrating a student’s perseverance to achieve his goals.
– Ryan Burbey, HCEA- Address student fundraising and the pressures felt by students being asked to do so, the distraction it created for him as a teacher, and his reaction as a parent.
– Rachel Gauthier- Encourage Board to have courageous conversations. Provide steps to teachers.
– Bruce Hoy- Retired community member encouraging Board to provide steps to teachers and ensure teachers stay.
– Louanne Calvin- Teacher feeling discouraged and wants to know that the Board, “has her back.” She is committing to attend County Council meetings and sharing these same sentiments with the County Executive.
Old Business: Consent Agenda
– Minutes of previous Board Meeting: December 8, 2014
– Surplus of Board Property: Maryland Route 462 (Paradise Road) in Aberdeen, MD
– North Harford Elementary School – Baseball Diamond Modification
– Patterson Mill Middle/High School – School Dugouts
– C. Milton Wright High School – Student Memorial
New Business: Presentations
– Presentation on Recruitment and Retention by Mrs. Jean Mantegna
– Presentation of the Superintendent’s Proposed Operating Budget for FY2016, by Superintendent Barbara Canavan and Mr. Jim Jewell
– Presentation – Harford County Education Association (HCEA), by Mr. Ryan Burbey
– Thank you to administrators in attendance. Provided an opportunity for Mrs. Mantegna and Mr. Snyder to respond to Mr. Burbey’s presentation. Reiterated the purpose of annual school visits, open dialogue and continuous improvement and collaboration. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!
The next Board of Education business meeting will be held Monday, January 7, 2015 at 6:30pm. All Board meetings are held in the A. A. Roberty Building. To access all future meeting dates and agendas, log onto the school system website at www.hcps.org.