Harford School Board Amends Budget, Funds Teacher Raises
The board of education and Harford County Educators Association announced before the meeting teachers and the school board had reached an agreement on salaries.
The tentative agreement between the Harford County Education Association and the Harford County Board of Education became official Monday evening after the board voted in favor of budget amendments to fund teacher "salary enhancements."
The tentative agreement was announced Monday afternoon, just days after Harford County Public Schools teachers staged work to order protests.
According to an email from HCEA President Randy Cerveny, the agreement signed Monday includes a "one percent cost of living allowance, a step on the salary scale for elligible teachers and longevity increases for more experienced teachers."
The statement noted that the changes become effective July 1.
The agreement also stated the final duty day of the current school year will be Wednesday, June 13—rather than the previously-mandated June 14.
Several Harford County educators spoke before the vote to thank the school board for coming to the agreement and to ask for improved unity between the school board and teachers in the future.
“Let me first thank you for giving your teachers the salary step they deserved for this year, I know that while it isn’t what we all wanted, but it is a lot,” Ryan Burbey said.
Burbey went on to say the amount of funding for education in Harford County is abysmal when compared to Baltimore County, which is in a worse financial position. He said this situation will only improve if the county makes education more of a priority.
HCEA president Randy Cerveny agreed with Burbey.
“This is not over yet, I’m not using that as a threat I’m talking about making education a priority,” Cerveny said.
Cerveny added all other categories in the county budget have increased by 14 percent while the budget for education has increased a little over 1 percent. He said this disproportionate increase demonstrates that education is not a priority in the county.
“We thank you for this first step, please don’t let it be the last one,” George Curry said.
Along with funding these raises, the board adopted budget amendments to 1 to balance to the County funding level due to less funding provided by the state and other sources when compared to the previous year.
The board also approved an unrestricted budget of $427,768,507.
Find full notes from Monday's meeting below:
9:29 p.m.: The board meeting comes to a close.
9:00 p.m.: Cornell Brown gives Board Strategic Plan Update on School Environment Data Informational Report and School Environment Data Presentation.
8:57 p.m.: The board unanimously approves the renewal of these contracts.
8:54 p.m.: Some of these contracts are long-standing.
8:52 p.m.: The superintendent does recommend the board approve these contracts.
8:50 p.m.: Ann-Marie Spakowski begins a presentation on special education contracts for related services.
8:45 p.m.: The board had to go into the budget to fund the shortfall, board president Leonard Wheeler said.
8:42 p.m.: The superintendent moves to approve the unrestricted budget. All vote in favor, the motion passes.
8:41 p.m.: Krchnavy said this is one of the most difficult budget sessions the board has been through. “Let’s put aside all the business of the silliness that’s come around.”
8:35 p.m.: The board votes to approve amendments 12-14 to fund the revised school package in a unanimous vote.
8:34 p.m.: The board votes on the amendment proposed by Frisch. Two voted in favor of the amendment. The motion failed.
8:30 p.m.: Krchnavy said she benefitted from mentor teachers, “they were invaluable.”
8:27 p.m.: Superintendent of Schools, Robert Tomback said he would have concerns over legality of using contractual positions to replace teacher positions. Mentors are both necessary and legally required by Code of Maryland Regulations ratio.
8:21 p.m.: Frisch moved that the position of mentor be removed and replaced as a contractual position.
8:21 p.m.: Frisch said eliminated positions will likely never return.
8:20 p.m.: Frisch said all involved have concerns and approving this funding involves changing the budget. “I think that we could go a little bit further,” Frisch said.
8:19 p.m.: The board moves to approve amendments 12-14 to fund the revised school package.
8:18 p.m.: All voted in favor of the amendments.
8:17 p.m.: The county board moves to approve amendments 1-12 to bring the budget to county funding level Frisch said this deficit is due to no additional funding over last year. The school system also loss about $5 million at the state level. “This is making up for what we didn’t get,” Frisch said.
8:12 p.m.: Jewell said estimated revenues are down by about $300,000.
8:11 p.m.: Jewell said in addition to the $300,000 the transfer includes 550,000, 200,000 and other costs $50,000. The board voted to approve these transfers. See the attached photo for an outline of all proposed budget amendments.
8:09 p.m.: Thornton asked about a $300,000 designated for text books. Jewell said this is for both text books and supplies. It covers a wide variety of supplies, Jewell said.
8:08 p.m.: James Jewell comes forward to give a presentation on transferring between state funding categories for the fiscal year 2013 budget.
8:07 p.m.: Board vice president Francis Grambo III shared thoughts on the graduations.
8:06 p.m.: Joseph Hau echoed his fellow board members’ thoughts and congratulations on graduations.
8:05 p.m.: Krchnavy also added thanks on a personal note, saying her husband was injured and on top of graduation week were a number of trips back and forth to shock trauma. Her husband was present for the meeting, she added.
8:04 p.m.: “Class of 2013, wow, you guys have some big shoes to fill,” Krchnavy said when talking about the amount of scholarships and funds awarded.
8:03 p.m.: “Grad week is the best week ever,” Alysson Krchnavy said. She said each ceremony she attended was fantastic and thanked the host schools for making their facilities available.
8:00 p.m.: Nancy Reynolds and Robert Frisch also recognized the Class of 2012.
7:59 p.m.: Cassandra R. Beverley thanked teachers, parents and students for continuing to “push, pull and prod” to make the school system better. She congratulated the Class of 2012 and shared her experience handing out diplomas this year.
7:57 pm.: Board member James Thornton congratulated the Class of 2012.
7:55 p.m.: Tony Cofrancesco, student representative to the school board, said he had the opportunity to attend the Aberdeen High School graduation ceremony and said it was a great ceremony.
7:52 p.m.: Michael Moore said he spoke at the last meeting about how he and his wife have had to put off having children because of the stagnant salaries. He thanked the school board for the tentative agreement.
7:51 p.m.: “We thank you for this first step, please don’t let it be the last one,” in helping Harford County become the greatest school system in the state, Curry said.
7:48 p.m.: Curry said his family was impacted by the tornado in Fallston and that made him take a look at what is important. He said never in his nearly 30 years with the school system have he and his wife seen such a relationship with the school board that went from strained to hostile to litigious.
7:47 p.m.: George Curry thanked the board for their hard work during the negotiation process. “This past week I know for my family it’s been extremely difficult.”
7:47 p.m.: Poticia said he hopes the united spirit that once existed between teachers and the board of education returns.
7:45 p.m.: “In spite of the agreement reached earlier this morning I am still wearing my red button. Student’s count on us,” Gregory Poticia. He went on to say this “us” is not just the teachers, but also cafeteria workers, administrators, office staff and the board of education. “We’ve got to be a united force in lobbying for the necessary funding.”
7:45 p.m.: “We will hopefully come up with a positive vote on this tentative agreement,” Cerveny said.
7:44 p.m.: “This is not over yet, I’m not using that as a threat I’m talking about making education a priority,” Cerveny said. He said all other categories in the county budget have increased by 14 percent while the budget for education has increased a little over 1 percent.
7:43 p.m.: Cerveny said he knows the board plans to honor the agreement reached today.
7:42 p.m.: “I know our differences overall are not that great when it comes to education,” HCEA president Randy Cerveny said.
7:41 p.m.: Burbey said the amount of funding in Harford County is abysmal when compared to Baltimore County, which is in a worse financial position. he said this improves by making education a priority.
7:40 p.m.: “Our security can’t be the funding for the program, it doesn’t get us anywhere, it leaves us three years behind, Burbey said.
7:40 p.m.: “Let me first thank you for giving your teachers the salary step they deserved for this year, I know that while it isn’t what we all wanted, but it is a lot,” Ryan Burbey said.
7:40 p.m.: The board calls for public comment.
7:35 p.m.: After recognized students and their parents leave, about 50 people file into the board room.
7:34 p.m.: Following recognitions the board closed for an 8 minute recess.
7:20 p.m.: Among those recognized were Destination Imagination Global Tournament Winners, Musical Composition Contest Winners, 2012 Spring MPSSA Interscholastic State/Regional Champions, 2012 Spring Sportsmanship Awards and E-Cybermission State Winners.
7:00 p.m.: The meeting begins with recognitions of local students. So many people are present for the meeting that a number of people have to remain in the lobby of the A.A. Roberty building, located at 102 S. Hickory Ave, until those being recognized leave.