Gary acts to use school surplus to hire teachers

November 05, 1996|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Less than two weeks after suggesting that the Board of Education use its own budget surplus to hire more teachers, Anne Arundel County Executive John G. Gary introduced legislation last night to authorize that move.

His action comes before tomorrow's school board meeting, at which the board was to discuss how it would respond to Gary's suggestion in a letter dated Oct. 24.

School officials asked Gary several weeks ago to release money from a separate county contingency account to hire nine more teachers.

The issue is the latest cause for friction between the executive and school officials. Gary has hammered the school board on numerous issues, though he has praised the work of Superintendent Carol S. Parham.

School officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

After hearing school and county government planners argue in May over how many new students to expect in August, the County Council set aside about $320,000 to pay for up to 10 more teachers if more than 1,000 additional students -- the administration's projection -- arrived.

But only 982 new students arrived, and Gary has refused to release the money, arguing that school officials should use some of the $4 million surplus from the last fiscal year.

School officials say the money should come from the contingency fund because some elementary school classes have more than 30 children.

The County Council must hold a hearing on Gary's proposal before it votes.

Pub Date: 11/05/96

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