At a business meeting set for Februrary 11th, the Harford County Board of Education will hear presentations including grave warnings about future staffing cuts, and plans for a new, state-mandated math and English curriculum next year. The school board meeting will also include commendations for the responders to a student’s life-threatening emergency at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air.
On the same evening that County Executive David Craig has planned a public hearing to gather input on the fiscal year 2014 county budget, Jim Jewell, HCPS assistant superintendent of business services, will present school board members with a warning about an impending “funding cliff” for HCPS that may require “significant” staffing cuts in future years. The warning is part of Jewell’s quarterly financial report to the school board for the period ending December 31, 2012. According to the published report:
“Towards the end of FY 2014, HCPS reaches a funding cliff where expenditures will outpace revenues, even with using $5.6 million of the accumulated Fund Balance [surplus from prior years]. Furthermore, the Fund Balance will be greatly reduced and no longer available to cover ongoing operating expenses in FY 2015. Unless substantial increases in local funding is provided to offset reductions in State Aid and the depletion of Fund Balance, significant reductions in staffing levels may be required to balance the budget, since approximately 85% of our costs are personnel related.”
Also on the school board’s February 11th agenda, a representative from the Maryland State Department of Education, Ms. Judy Jenkins, will make a presentation on the new state curriculum to be implemented in all Maryland schools next year. The new curriculum is derived from the Common Core State Standards, which establish “a single set of clear and rigorous educational standards for grades K-12 in reading/English/Language Arts and mathematics…” according to the published presentation. The Common Core standards, which have been adopted by all but a handful of states, were approved by the Maryland State Board of Education in June 2010.
Maryland is also one of 22 states involved in the development of related new tests for grades K-12, in an initiative known as the “Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)”. According to the PARCC web site, the new tests will be ready for states to implement in the 2014-15 school year.
Dr. Susan P. Brown, HCPS coordinator of intervention, will discuss the HCPS transition plan for the new Common Core curriculum and the new PARCC tests.
Representing teachers, the Harford County Education Association (HCEA) will continue its series of recent presentations to the school board, this time on the topic of “HCPS Investment Packages”. The Monday presentation will be made by HCEA member Greg Plotycia.
Responders to a recent life-threatening emergency at C. Milton Wright High School will be recognized for their calm and quick response, saving the life of a student athlete. The response included the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), which sends an electric shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm. The device was used to successfully treat a C. Milton Wright basketball player who had a medical emergency during a game earlier this month. All HCPS physical education teachers, coaches and nurses are required to be certified in CPR/AED. Also, each team is required to have an individual trained in the operation and use of an AED present at all practices and games.
Also on the agenda, the school board will recognize top middle and high school musicians for their achievements for the 2012-13 school year. Following competitive auditions before a panel of experts, soprano Laura Ebsworth of North Harford High School and alto Allison Stokes of Fallston High were selected as “All-Eastern” musicians. In addition, a total of 31 HCPS students were selected for this year as members of the Maryland All-State Junior Band, the Maryland All-State Senior Band, and the Maryland All-State Junior Chorus.
On the consent agenda, Superintendent Tomback will recommend a $813,735 contract award to K. Neal International Trucks of Hyattsville, MD, for the purchase of nine school buses. The contract includes a trade-in of nine existing buses, which are being replaced in accordance with federal guidelines and special education requirements. The contract is to be funded by the fiscal year 2014 capital budget, according to the published agenda. K. Neal International was the low bidder.
As usual, the school board meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Tomback. Last Monday, Tomback announced that he planned to leave HCPS on June 30th when his four-year contract expires. The announcement came on the heels of a February 1st deadline for Tomback to notify the school board whether he would seek reappointment. The following day, Bill Lawrence, Tomback’s second-in-command on instructional matters, announced that he planned to resign, also effective June 30th.
The February 11 board business meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. A public comment period is set for 6:40 p.m. Below is the published meeting agenda. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, February 11, 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 – Mr. Francis F. Grambo, III, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Recognitions:
Emergency Response Team – C. Milton Wright High School
2013 All-Eastern and All-State Student Musicians
6:40 PM Public Comment
6:55 PM Introductions
7:00 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:15 PM A. Consent Agenda:
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: January 28, 2013
7:20 PM B. Presentation of Common Core State Standards, Ms. Judy Jenkins, Director of Curriculum, Maryland State Department of Education, Dr. Susan P. Brown, HCPS Coordinator of Intervention
8:05 PM C. Presentation of Quarterly Financial Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2012, Mr. James M. Jewell
8:20 PM D.
Presentation of HCPS Investment Packages, Mr. Greg Plotycia, HCEA Member
8:40 PM E. Superintendent’s Report
8:50 PM Future Meetings Review