The Harford County Board of Education plans a business meeting on April 28th to include the ratification of labor contracts for next school year, and a teachers’ union presentation on the cost of salary increases. Other planned business includes acceptance of a ten-cent, mandated price increase for school lunches next year, and a vote on proposed revisions to the school calendar policy.
Among the items on the consent agenda, the Board plans to ratify tentative labor agreements negotiated for next school year with the teachers’ union (HCEA), and with the union representing HCPS supervisors and administrators (APSASHC), and the union representing support personnel (HCESC).
Jillian Lader, HCPS manager of communications, said on Friday that the school system would not discuss details of the tentative agreements prior to ratification.
However, in an interview Saturday, HCEA President Ryan Burbey said that the terms include a 1% cost of living increase, plus a one step increase for eligible employees, contingent upon a funding increase of $8.5 million in fiscal year 2015 from the county.
That funding increase is far from assured, however, as County Executive David Craig’s recommended operating budget increase for HCPS next year is comprised of a $1.9 million increase for instructional salaries, which is to mitigate a reduction in state funding, and a $466,000 increase to cover the state-mandated increase in the county’s contribution for teacher pensions.
The full county budget is currently under review by the county council. A discussion of available options for the county to increase school funding can be found here.
Burbey said the tentative agreement for teachers would be sent to HCEA members for ratification this coming week. Asked if he was satisfied with the agreement, Burbey wrote in an email,” I will not be satisfied until we get back all the steps we have lost. However, I think this is the best we could get for now.”
In a related agenda item, Burbey will make a presentation to the Board regarding “an historic misperception on the added yearly cost” of providing teacher step increments, or salary increases based on longevity and education/certification levels attained. The 33-page presentation, complete with charts and graphs, appears in a link on the agenda published below.
Also on the consent agenda, the Board will accept a ten-cent price increase for school lunches next school year. According to the published agenda, HCPS must raise the price of lunch up to the level of federal reimbursement for free and reduced meals as a requirement of the federal Food Nutrition Act. Higher prices for milk and other commodities are also cited in the published rationale for the following price list, which will also be published in the parent/student calendar handbook for 2014-15:
“Cost of each prepaid breakfast: $1.05 elementary & secondary; $.20 reduced price elementary & secondary. Cost of each prepaid lunch: $2.00 (was $1.90) elementary $2.10 (was $2.00) secondary; $.40 reduced price elementary & secondary; no charge for free meal benefit. A la carte items range from $.40 to $ 1.00 in elementary & $.20 to $1.50 in secondary schools.”
Also on the consent agenda, the Board plans approval of the monthly report on personnel who have left the system, been placed on leaves of absence, or are newly employed. Notable items in the report as of March 31st are the retirement of HCPS Special Education Director Ann Marie Spakowski, and the retirement after 48 years in HCPS of Edgewood Middle School math teacher Robert Pierne.
Board acceptance of the “Non-Retention Report 2014” is also planned as part of the consent agenda. However, no additional information on this item has been published to date.
Also on the consent agenda, stadium and weight room upgrades at Aberdeen High School will proceed with Board approval of a $1,416,564 contract award to low bidder Wickersham Construction & Engineering, Inc. The county provided $1.6 million for the project in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
A new roof for George D. Lisby Elementary School will also get under way with Board approval of a $668,000 contract award to low bidder J&K Contracting, Inc. The bid price includes prevailing wage rates as newly required under a 2014 state law. The law applies to state-funded school construction projects that exceed $500,000 in construction value, when at least 50% of the construction cost is borne by the state.
Last on the consent agenda, the Board will approve a series of resolutions, including recognition of the high school seniors who are among the top 5% in academic achievement for the Class of 2014. The names of each of these Merit Scholastic Award winners appear in the link on the agenda published below.
Board action on proposed revisions to the school calendar policy is also planned for Monday. The proposed revisions replace the ad hoc calendar committee with Board solicitation of wider public input through electronic and other means. Also under the proposed revisions, the public comment window on proposed calendars is extended from 30 to 60 days, and the timeline for Board approval of the calendar is shortened from no later than 14 months to no later than 8 months before the start of the affected school year.
Also on the agenda is a series of Board recognitions, beginning with the student members of the Superintendent’s 2014 Student Advisory Council. Students in grades six through twelve are eligible to apply for the council each year, with selections based on leadership skills, academic achievement and “uncommon maturity in their schools and communities”, according to the published agenda. Students to be recognized for the 2013-14 school year appear below:
Benjamin Barsam, 12th grade, Bel Air High School
Emilee Bubb, 11th grade, Havre de Grace High School
Kerrigan Clem, 7th grade, Southampton Middle School
Gianna Curci, 8th grade, Edgewood Middle School
Amanda Dorsey, 9th grade, Edgewood High School
Anna Dziki, 9th grade, Fallston High School
Josh Ford, 8th grade, Fallston Middle School
Aaron Fullard, 8th grade, Magnolia Middle School
Nia Hammett, 8th grade, Edgewood Middle School
Justin Knoll, 10th grade, Bel Air High School
Jasmine Martinez, 12th grade, Fallston High School
Emily McClaskey, 8th grade, Aberdeen Middle School
Elizabeth Siebold, 12th grade, Bel Air High School
Alison Smith, 8th grade, Southampton Middle School
Sarah Stauffer, 8th grade, Patterson Mill Middle School
Payton Truszkowski, 7th grade, Southampton Middle School
Otto Wilson, 8th grade, Aberdeen Middle School
The Board also plans to recognize the following fifteen teachers who earned National Board Certification during the 2012-13 school year.
ELISE GIPPETTI, FALLSTON HIGH SCHOOL
SARAH MICHAEL, HOMESTEAD-WAKEFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CAITLIN SIERACKI, WILLIAM PACA/OLD POST ROAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
BEVERLY DIZE, C. MILTON WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL
ANNE COX, C. MILTON WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL
JOSEPH DAVIS, C. MILTON WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL
MARIAN MURDOCH, GEORGE D. LISBY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AT HILLSDALE
AMANDA FAGER, BEL AIR MIDDLE SCHOOL
JEFF COLE, BEL AIR MIDDLE SCHOOL
TARA HOFHERR, RED PUMP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
MICHAEL JAMES, NORTH HARFORD HIGH SCHOOL
JUDITH GLOVER, PATTERSON MILL HIGH SCHOOL
DANA WILSON, NORTH HARFORD HIGH SCHOOL
PAUL MARCANTONIO, PATTERSON MILL HIGH SCHOOL
JESSALYN BERNHOFER, NORTH HARFORD HIGH SCHOOL
Finally, the Board plans to recognize the HCPS Office of Business Services for once again earning awards for financial reporting and budget presentation from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). According to the published agenda, the school system has received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 10 consecutive years, and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 12 consecutive years.
Under new business, Jean Mantegna, assistant superintendent for human resources, will request Board approval of promotions and appointments as recommended by Superintendent Barbara Canavan.
Last but not least, Superintendent Canavan will provide her report to the Board.
The April 28th meeting is set to begin a 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. The published agenda appears below. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Board Open Session – 5:55 PM – Board Room
Board Closed Session – 6:00 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
– Superintendent’s 2014 Student Advisory Council
– 2013 National Board Certified Teachers
– Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
6:55 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:10 PM Public Comment
7:25 PM Presentation – Harford County Education Association Mr. Ryan Burbey and Mr. Harold Breaux
7:30 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Monthly Report on Personnel (Goal 3)
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: April 14, 2014 (Goals 1 – 4)
3) Non-Retention Report 2014 (Goal 3)
6) Ratification of Negotiated Agreement with Harford County Educational Services Council (HCESC) (Goal 3)
7) Food Price Increases for 2014-2015 School Year (Goal 4)
9) George D. Lisby Elementary Roof Replacement (Goal 4)
10) Resolutions: (Goal 2)
– School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week
– Home and Hospital Teacher Appreciation Week
– 2014 Merit Scholastic Award
– National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
– Pupil Personnel Worker Week
– School Nurses Day
– Teacher Appreciation Week
7:35 PM B. Decision on HCPS Board Policy, Patrick P. Spicer, Esq. (Goals 1-4)
– School Calendar (20-0002-000)
7:55 PM C. Decision on Appointments and Promotions, Mrs. Jean A. Mantegna (Goal 3)
8:10 PM D. Superintendent’s Report
8:20 PM Future Meetings Review