Educators seeking raises cite Carroll's high test scores

April 02, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Carroll teachers and administrators deserve raises in reward for the county's high ranking in statewide school testing, says a spokesman for the team bargaining a new contract with the school board.

"Results that show we are the best or among the best school systems in the state should be accompanied by rewards," said Robert Bruce, principal at Charles Carroll Elementary School and spokesman for the administrators and supervisors' bargaining team.

School board members used a similar argument last summer to explain why they stood by a four-year contract with built-in raises for Superintendent R. Edward Shilling.

In making their case, teachers and administrators have pointed to Carroll's success on the Maryland School Performance Program, which records how well schools are teaching basic reading, math, writing and citizenship.

Carroll and Howard counties were the only ones in the state that met at least "satisfactory" standards in all areas this year.

But Mr. Shilling and other school officials noted that Carroll did it with much less money. Carroll ranks 17th out of 24 state jurisdictions in spending per pupil and in number of instructional staff per pupil.

Despite the three years of no salary increase, a workload that has increased and teachers having no time for planning, they're really putting their shoulders to the wheel to keep our standing high," said Harold Fox, negotiator for the Carroll County Education Association, the bargaining unit for teachers.

The school board is negotiating with five employee unions but hopes to conclude by Wednesday night.

The trend this year has been for the unions to seek a 6 percent to 7 percent salary increase and more job security, especially among county maintenance, custodial, bus and clerical employees.

All the unions are seeking to add steps to the salary scales. Clerical and food service workers also want more opportunities for promotion.

The board has proposed pay increases of 1 percent to 2 percent.

The board also has sought more control for the administration in personnel matters. For example, the board proposed that evaluations -- in addition to seniority, the current standard -- be considered when laying off or calling back teachers.

The board withdrew that proposal Wednesday after the teachers union argued that negotiations would go nowhere with that item on the table, and reduced the request for 7 percent raises to 6 percent.

The school board is seeking to remove contract language for classified employee unions -- those for workers without degrees in education -- that enables a fired employee to appeal to a third-party arbitrator after a hearing with the board.

The board also wants a longer probation period for classified employees. Board negotiators say an extension would benefit both the board and employees who might be dismissed if extended probation were not an option.

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