Just when you thought it was safe to forget about threats of teacherlayoffs, cuts to school programs and bargaining for teacher stipends, the battles are resurfacing.
On the chopping block are 80 permanent substitutes, eight drivers-education teachers and six vocational education work experience coordinators.
School Superintendent Larry L. Lorton hopes to use the savings of$1.2 million for 13 additional elementary teachers, extracurricular pay for teachers, daily substitutes, scholarships for summer camp andtravel reimbursement.
But school board members were unable to reach an agreement on the proposal yesterday and delayed action on the cuts. Instead, they approved the $341 million budget for next year, already approved by County Council.
None of the proposed cuts were popular with the audience.
James Naylor, a veteran drivers-education teacher at Old Mill Senior, sat among six colleagues hoping to urgethe board to abort plans for cutting the free program. He questionedwhy the program, which had more than 400 students enrolled this yearat Old Mill alone, could not be self-sufficient with the $65 per student received from the state.
Jean Jones, representing the Secretaries and Aides Association of Anne Arundel County, urged the board tomake a decision.
"I believe you owe those 80 people who are permanent subs the courtesy to know whether or not their positions exist,"she said.
The board did agree to review the positions to determine how they are being used and whether cuts could be done without harm.
Lorton's plan also includes more money for school bus contractors, who have threatened to park their buses if they do not receive a pay increase.
School officials say much of the rush to make adjustments to the budget is due to passage of a tight budget by the County Council. They claim the spending plan does not include enough money to continue current operations.
In addition, council members are now requiring that the school system live within its budget rather thanmake adjustments at the end of the year by transferring money from one category to another.
Decisions about possible cuts are likely to come up at the next board meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. July 3.
In other business Monday, school board members delayed action on a plan to merge insurance plans with the county to save money.