A request for 96 more classroom teachers and additional support personnel makes up the bulk of the school superintendent's preliminary objectives for the 1995-1996 operating budget.
The objectives -- plus estimated costs for utilities, insurance and negotiated salary raises -- could add $18.4 million to the current $177.4 million operating budget, for a total of $195.8 million.
This year, the school system received a $13.1 million increase, "the most we ever have," Superintendent Ray R. Keech said Monday during a presentation of the school system's wish list to the school board.
Of that money, $9.9 million came from Harford County, $3.4 million from the state and the rest from the federal government.
"We forecast about $4 million from the state [for next year]. The rest would have to come from the county," said Albert F. Seymour, deputy superintendent of schools.
The federal money, based on a formula, is expected to remain about the same, $394,000.
A decreased fund balance from the 1993-1994 budget accounted for the difference between the money received and the $13.1 million increase.
Last week's school board meeting started the annual budget process that will evolve over several months. A budget work session will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday at Southampton Middle School in Bel Air. The public will be able to comment on the proceedings Dec. 12.
The final result is expected to be presented to County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann by mid-February.
The preliminary objectives are based on the school system's five-year master plan, which is updated each year. "We did not get funding to move ahead with all we would like to," Dr. Keech said of this year's plan. "But it shows us where we'd like to be and how we plan to get there. . . . We need to pace ourselves."
With a projected enrollment of 37,239 students next fall -- a 1,276 increase over this year -- the superintendent is requesting 96 additional classroom teachers. Of those, 40 elementary and 28 middle-school teachers "would improve just slightly classroom size," said Mr. Seymour. The 28 additional high school teachers would maintain the current ratio of 65.5 teachers per 1,000 students.
School policy calls for 20 students in prekindergarten and kindergarten classes, 23 in first and second grades, 25 in grades three through five and 30 in middle and high school classes.
Dr. Keech is requesting a variety of specialized teachers, including nine enrichment model (SEM) teachers for the county's 31 elementary schools. SEM teachers serve as a resource to help students develop their talents. Currently, there are six such teachers who split their time among 12 elementary schools.
The superintendent also is asking for five guidance counselors. "The three additional counselors would give all the elementary -- schools a full-time counselor, except for the smallest ones," Mr. Seymour said. The other two counselors are earmarked for secondary schools. The proposals include a second-year appeal for six guidance paraprofessionals to aid counselors with such tasks as record-keeping. "We were not able to fund this last year," Mr. Seymour said of the new position.
Other requests for new personnel include a nurse coordinator, a coordinator of volunteers, health education and school improvement supervisors, and a safety-security investigator to assist the school's lone investigator.
The salaries for the additional certified teachers and other personnel are projected to total $7.6 million. Of that, $5.8 million is designated for the teachers.
The budget package also calls for expanded curriculum programs, additional instructional materials, computers for students and administration and furniture and school buses. It totals $11.5 million.
The remainder of the $18.4 million budget would include $2.9 million for fixed costs, such as utilities and insurance, and about $4 million for estimated contract raises.