A full agenda awaits the Harford County Board of Education Monday night, but all eyes will be on Action Item B: “Decision on Comprehensive Elementary Redistricting Plan”. Board members are expected to propose amendments to the published plan, which draws attendance boundaries for the new Red Pump Elementary School in Bel Air and adjusts existing school boundaries to balance enrollment among the county’s other 32 elementary schools. Following any amendments, the board is expected to vote on the plan, which will take effect beginning in the 2011-12 school year. Public comment will be accepted at the board meeting prior to the introduction of any amendments and board action.
Not to be overlooked is the planned ratification by the board of a tentative labor agreement, which according to Harford County Education Association President Randy Cerveny includes a 3% cost of living increase for all teachers next year, plus step and longevity increases for those who are eligible. Cerveny called the negotiated increases a “big win” in a memo to members who, along with all other HCPS employees, have not had a salary increase in two years.
In January the school board requested a $448 million operating budget for FY12, including salary increases for all employees, but state and local funding authorities won’t determine actual funding levels for several months. The teachers’ contract, which Cerveny said has already been ratified by HCEA members, is subject to renegotiation if funding is not provided to support the increases.
Triggered by the teachers’ contract, the 3% COLA would also apply to all other HCPS employee contracts for next year, including that of Superintendent Robert M. Tomback. According to Teri Kranefeld, manager of communications for HCPS, all five of the school system’s bargaining units have contract language entitling them to the highest COLA negotiated by any one of the five. The superintendent’s cost of living increase is set by the contracted increase for supervisory/administrative employees. Like the teachers’ contract, all other employee contracts are subject to renegotiation depending on funding availability.
Also on the school board’s agenda is a legislative update noting that Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal for next year includes changes to Thornton and state funding formulas that together would cut $3.7 million from the proposed budget for Harford County Public Schools. According to the update prepared by Kathy Carmello, manager of governmental relations for HCPS, the Governor’s proposed budget also makes changes to the state teachers’ retirement program, with cost savings to be “reinvested into the program to bring solvency.” The proposed changes for future retirees are outlined in the legislative update as follows:
The Governor’s budget also cuts state costs by eliminating the Government High School Assessment (HSA) exam after this school year.
Proposed state legislation for the school board’s review includes a proposal to require local school systems to report the number of enrolled students whose lawful presence in the country cannot be documented, and another bill that would allow parents to send their students to a public school of their choice, as long as seats are available in the receiving school. The school board opposes both bills based on a previously adopted, 2011 Legislative Platform that is against unfunded mandates and encroachments upon local board authority.
And that’s not all, folks. The complete February 28 agenda for the Harford County Board of Education appears below:
MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011
HCPS A. A. ROBERTY BUILDING
102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 P.M. – Board Room
6:30 P.M. Call to Order – Mark M. Wolkow, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
*6:40 P.M. Recognition
– HCPS Hall of Fame: Dwight Enterline
– 2010 HCPS National Board Certified Teachers
– Black College Expo Essay Contest Winners: Stacy Drakeford and Kirsten Newman, both of Aberdeen High School
– Maryland Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education School Award: Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary School
– Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified: Joppatowne Elementary School
*7:10 P.M. General Public Comment
*7:25 P.M. Decision on Recommendation of Candidate for Board of Education Ethics Panel (Goal 3)
*7:30 P.M. Board Committee Reports and Comments
A. Consent Agenda:
1.) Minutes of Previous Meetings: (Goal 3)
– January 24, 2011 Board Business Meeting
– February 7, 2011 Board Work Session
– February 14, 2011 Board Business Meeting
2.) Proposed Resolutions on: (Goal 3)
– National Music in Our Schools and Youth Art Month
– Maryland Women’s History Month/International Women’s Day
3.) Decision on Contract Award, Red Pump Elementary School Library Materials (Goal 2)
4.) Ratification of the HCESC Negotiated Agreement for 2011-2012 SY
5.) Ratification of Negotiated Agreement with the Harford County Education Association
B. Decision on Comprehensive Elementary Redistricting Plan, Dr. Robert M. Tomback and Mr. Joseph P. Licata (Goal 3)
C. Legislative Update and Possible Action, Mrs. Kathryn M. Carmello (Goal 3)
D. Appointment of 2012-2013 Calendar Committee Members, Mrs. Teri Kranefeld (Goal 3)
E. Presentation on Quarterly Financial Report for December 31, 2010 Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 3)
F. Superintendent’s Report
Future Meetings Review
*Times are approximate