The Anne Arundel County School Board went home early Tuesday night after gave testimony at a public hearing at Old Mill High School.
In the first of two hearings of its kind this week, residents were given or satisfaction with the school board’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013.
President of Anne Arundel County Council PTAs and Edgewater resident Ray Leone said he wasn’t surprised by the low turnout and he expects more people to speak at Thursday’s hearing at the Parham Building in Annapolis.
“This isn’t the time where [the budget] is going to be an issue,” Old Mill parent Lisa Shore said. “It’s when this goes to [the Anne Arundel County Council] that things might get interesting.”
The second hearing will most likely be televised and attended by more people, Shore said.
Leone expressed a similar sentiment and said he expects the council to reject some of the more popular pieces of the proposed budget.
“I think [the council] is going to say ‘no’ to the addition of 62 teachers,” Leone said. “They have set themselves as gatekeepers [of funds] instead of trusting the nine individuals on the school board to make the best decisions.”
The Edgewater resident also expressed his support of the proposed addition of $33.8 million for a teacher salary increase.
“We haven’t recognized these teachers in four years—they’re getting the same pay,” he said. “We’re just getting younger teachers—we don’t have those mentor-teacher relationships.”
Despite his reservations, Leone said he’s happy to see the school board aim high with its budget.
“Anything that improves morale [for teachers], that’s what we have to go for,” Leone said.
The next public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in the Parham Building in Annapolis. After that and another workshop Jan. 24, the board is expected to adopt its requested budget by the end of February, followed by the county executive's proposal sometime in mid-April, AACPS spokesman Bob Mosier said.