On Feb. 22, the Board of Education of Anne Arundel County added 51.8 positions to Superintendent George Arlotto’s budget recommendation, passing a $1.2 billion Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget request that contains 27 additional teaching positions and additional compensation increases for all employees.

Through a series of amendments, the board boosted the number of classroom teachers to reduce class sizes and the number of additional special education teaching positions. It also added to the number of requested school counselors, school psychologists and social workers.
The request adopted by the board includes 290.5 positions, approximately 95% of which would be allocated for teachers and others who have daily contact with students. More than 217 of those positions would be teaching positions.

The board’s request also includes $27.3 million for compensation increases. Pending the outcome of negotiations with employee bargaining units, that would be sufficient to provide step increases to all eligible employees, commensurate increases to non-represented employees and a 2% cost-of-living increase to all employees.

More than $850,000 in the board’s request would go to boost pay for substitute teachers by $10 per day. Substitute teacher compensation has not been increased in more than 15 years.

More than $3 million in the board’s request is allocated to the expansion of the Monarch Academy Annapolis Public Contract School and needs at other charter and contract schools across the county. Monarch Annapolis’s base enrollment is scheduled to rise from 530 to 638 students next year.
In its recommendation, the board also included $274,680 for four additional bilingual facilitators to undertake the work of collaborating with families, and $1 million to continue the fiber ring expansion, a collaborative project with the county government designed to increase high-speed Internet access.

The board adopted Arlotto’s $216 million capital budget recommendation without making any changes, allocating funding to nine major school construction projects.
• Manor View Elementary School ($3.8 million)
• High Point Elementary School ($4.5 million)
• George Cromwell Elementary School ($15.6 million)
• Jessup Elementary School ($7.9 million)
• Arnold Elementary School ($6.7 million)
• Edgewater Elementary School ($19.7 million)
• Tyler Heights Elementary School ($18.2 million)
• Richard Henry Lee Elementary School ($16.9 million)
• Crofton Area High School ($54.8 million)

The capital budget recommendation also contains $7.5 million for prekindergarten and kindergarten additions at Maryland City and Riviera Beach elementary schools, and $10 million for classroom additions at Marley and Solley elementary schools, and a gymnasium and program addition at Glen Burnie Park Elementary School.

The budgets were to be forwarded to County Executive Steve Schuh by March 1. Schuh will include funding for the school system in his proposed FY2019 budgets, which will be released May 1.