Baltimore County School Superintendent Robert Y. Dubel has proposed a new teacher furlough plan that calls for two half-days instead of four and will send students home for the summer a day earlier than previously arranged.
Under the new plan -- the third the school administration has proposed in two months -- this Friday, March 27, and June 16 would be half-days. June 17 and June 18 would be full furlough days for teachers.
The last day of school for students would be the June 16 half-day. Originally, June 17 was scheduled as the final day of classes.
A snow holiday on Feb. 13 already has been counted as a full furlough day for teachers.
The four furlough days represent a 1.9 percent salary reduction for each teacher, school officials said.
Twelve-month school employees -- mostly officials in non-teaching roles -- will be furloughed five days.
The 12-month employees will have to arrange a fifth day with supervisors in addition to the four days earmarked for furloughs.
A plan proposed last month listed the Feb. 13 snow day, June 18 and two unnamed school holidays as full furlough days.
The second plan, which was announced earlier this month, listed Feb. 13 and June 18 as full days, and March 27, June 15, 16 and 17 as half-days.
Both plans met with harsh criticism from teachers and have been revised in response to those complaints, said school administration spokesman Richard E. Bavaria.
Ed Veit, the president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, blasted all three furlough plans today, calling them "punitive to teachers."
Mr. Veit said teachers traditionally have been paid to write reports and do other year-end chores on the day after classes ended. But under the furlough plan, they would have to do those tasks on their own time, without pay, he claimed.
Mr. Veit said teachers would stage an anti-furlough demonstration outside the county Board of Education headquarters in Towson Thursday night, similar to their protest two weeks ago at the board's North Charles Street offices.
Dr. Dubel planned the furloughs after County Executive Roger B. Hayden reported that projected county revenue would be $23.5 million short for the fiscal year ending June 30.
The school board's budget has been cut by $7.8 million.
Mr. Hayden stipulated that the loss come out of teacher salaries, Dr. Dubel said.