The Harford County Board of Education approved a $448 million operating budget for fiscal year 2012 in a 6-1 vote Monday night, but narrowly voted to cut a pilot program proposed by Superintendent Robert Tomback, which would have paid the fees for students taking Advanced Placement Exams.
The AP exam line item, which would have carried a $223,242 price tag, was cut in a 4-to-3 vote of the board. The amendment to cut AP exam funding was introduced by Board member Bob Frisch. Board members Frisch, Rick Grambo, Thomas Evans, and Don Osman voted for the amendment while Alysson Krchnavy, Leonard Wheeler, and President Mark Wolkow voted against it.
The operating budget, which includes pay increases for all Harford County Public Schools staff, passed in a 6-to-1 vote, with Board member Rick Grambo the lone holdout. Grambo cited high taxes and unemployment as the reasons for his vote, saying that “the timing of the budget is off.”
According to Harford County Public Schools, the FY2012 Operating Budget was approved with the following amendments:
– Remove 17 teachers salaries from the Operating Budget and placing them in the Restricted Budget as they are now grant funded in FY12 – $976,911
– Fully allocate the money for the Board members allowances for next year due to the addition of new Board members ($8,000)
– Rejected the amendment brought forth by Board Member Robert L. Frisch to increase by 3.5 FTE (seven .5 teachers at each middle school) language teachers to provide World Language Programs at each middle school with three votes in the affirmative and four votes in the negative. The Board requested that the Superintendent look into the disparity of middle school World Language programs and the impact that the impending common core standards will have on this program and bring recommendations back to the Board.
– Approved the amendment brought forth by Board Member Robert L. Frisch to strike line item 16 on page 266 in the budget in the amount of $223,242 to be used to pay for the first AP exam by students with four votes in the affirmative and three votes in the negative.
– Adopted the FY12 Unrestricted Operating Budget, as amended by the Board of Education on Monday, January 24, 2011, in the amount of $447,775,798 with six votes in the affirmative and one vote in the negative. Additionally, the amounts for the other funds are: Restricted Funds of $25,950,849; Food Service Fund of $14,909,265; and the Capital Budget of $57,757,365.
– Approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to adopt the proposed amendment to reduce the FY2011 Unrestricted Budget by $6,144,622 and increase the Restricted Budget by $7,680,778 based on the Governor’s proposed distribution of the Education Jobs Funding to be used for healthcare premium holidays for all employees and retirees.
– Approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to adopt the proposed amendment of $2,000,000 to the Red Pump Elementary School Capital Budget for FY2011.