Picket Line Expected To Greet School Board Members

April 22, 1991|By Staff report

School issues are expected to be debated on the sidewalks of Riva Road even before the Board of Education begins meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Students angry about budget cuts and the effect on their education will join employees from unions representing teachers, principals, custodians and bus drivers in picketing outside of the Board of Education building. The group will be protesting stalled contract talks.

This year's negotiations mark the first time that all unions havereached impasses with the board, whose negotiators have refused to budge on non-monetary issues.

The county has been grappling with an$8 million deficit for most of the school year by returning resourceteachers to the classroom, reducing the number of activity buses andcalling a hiring freeze.

Students complain that their education is being affected. Employees have asked the state superintendent and an outside arbitrator to intervene.

Tom Paolino, head of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, said teachers were willing to forgo a pay increase if the board would address concerns that includeincreased use of school ditto machines and the placement of two-way call buttons in classrooms in case of emergencies.

Once board members work their way through the picket line, they are scheduled to tackle yet another controversial issue: how to redistrict the Meade, Severna Park and Broadneck feeder systems.

Other agenda items include:

* Approval of the 1991-1992 school calendar

* Vote on changesto the fees charged for continuing education classes

* Awarding the contract for renovations to Severna Park Elementary

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