School officials detail plans for part of $493 million budget

January 09, 1998|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

The Anne Arundel County school board learned last night how educators plan to spend a portion of the proposed $493 million budget for the 1998-1999 school year to manage the schools.

Some of the answers board members got at last night's meeting seemed to leave them less than happy about some of the plans.

Superintendent Carol S. Parham has asked for $12,634,320 for administration, $26 million for transportation and $12.6 million for maintenance.

With that money, county school system employees and contractors would get 73,000 students to and from school, maintain more than 120 buildings and install and operate a technology system for student data.

For several hours last night, some of Parham's top administrators used a slide projector to show the board how they planned to use that money.

The budget request for administrative services is almost $3 million more than the amount allocated for this school year. Part of that increase, if approved, would pay the salaries of 11 technicians who would help the school system staff learn a new computer system that keeps data on students. The proposal also asks for $52,000 a year to pay a security analyst to keep the system safe.

"What does this person actually, physically do?" asked board member Paul Rudolph. Told that the employee would "trouble shoot" and "ensure the network environment," Rudolph asked why a recent college graduate could not be hired at a much lower salary.

"We don't want entry-level positions in all of these categories," said Gregory Nourse, the acting assistant superintendent who handles budget matters. "They come and they go to work. We don't have the time to train these people."

Other board members asked for more specific job descriptions and information that showed salaries the school system wants to pay are standard.

Also discussed was the amount Parham has requested for transporting students to and from the county's schools. Winship Wheatley, who heads the county school system's transportation division, asked for $26 million, $1.3 million more than this school year.

He said 15 buses have worn out after 12 years of use.

Pub Date: 1/09/98

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