Administrative fund eyed to hire Odenton teacher

November 19, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

The Anne Arundel school board voted last night to use funds from an administrative account to hire a teacher for a school with two severely crowded fourth-grade classrooms.

The board voted 8-0 to use money from the vacant position of deputy superintendent and the position of assistant superintendent for instruction, which is due to become vacant by Dec. 1, to hire a teacher for Odenton Elementary School.

The board's decision is contingent on approval by the County Council.

This is the second time this year the board will be using money from a vacant position for a program lacking money.

In August, the board allocated $25,000 from the vacant deputy superintendent position to pay for the Early Elementary Education Program at Glendale Elementary School, a non-mandated program.

About 25 Odenton parents, who sent a videotape of two crowded fourth-grade classes to board members, attended last night's meeting.

"The kids are literally falling over one another," Odenton Elementary PTA president Alice Mosca told the board. "Someone's going to get hurt."

One fourth-grade class has 37 students and the other has 39, she said.

School system administration had suggested a combined class of third- and fourth-grade students since the school has fewer third-graders. The addition of a teaching assistant or the transfer of a permanent substitute from one school to another also were suggested.

But parents said those suggestions would not offer much relief, and board members agreed.

"I guess if I had the choice of overspending in an account, I'd rather overspend for the direct benefit of the kids," board member Jo Ann Tollenger said.

School budget officer Jack White said that the school system did not have enough money in its staffing budget to hire an additional teacher for Odenton Elementary this year.

After learning that at least eight other elementary schools had classes of 30 or more students, board members also voted to send a letter to the County Council, informing it that the school system would be requesting money to hire additional staff.

The school system was given 85 new teaching positions during this year's budget process. However, school officials say that in reality they received only about 40 new teachers because of the way the county factors in the turnover rate of employees.

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