Teacher raises on the agenda

Three-year contract would boost pay at least 6 percent


The Anne Arundel County Board of Education is scheduled to vote today to ratify a contract with the county teachers union that will provide raises of at least 6 percent next year and for two subsequent years.

At its meeting today, the board also will continue consideration of revised school system policies such as the student conduct code, will receive a report on the school budget approved by the County Council, and will consider lease extensions for the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and KIPP Harbor Academy, a county charter school.

The current contract between the school board and the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County expires June 30. The new contract, which was ratified by union members May 3, is a three-year deal that also restructures the teacher salary scale. Starting pay for a teacher with a bachelor's degree will rise from $36,339 to $38,041 a year, according to school system figures.

The salary provisions, which will cost the county government about $30 million a year, received the support of County Executive Janet S. Owens and the County Council during the adoption of the fiscal 2007 budget.

"I'm very pleased that they supported the school board's budget," said Sheila Finlayson, president of the teachers association. "It helps us in recruiting and retention issues and hopefully will help us to provide qualified teachers, and the best and brightest teachers, in every classroom."

Also on the board's agenda for the meeting are two feasibility studies -- one of Freetown Elementary School in Glen Burnie and the other of Lake Shore Elementary in Pasadena.

The state requires that school systems considering school renovation and replacement explore five options, ranging from doing nothing to replacing the entire school, according to Alex Szachnowicz, the system's acting director of facilities.

School system staff will recommend to the school board, based on the studies commissioned by the board, to replace Freetown, at an estimated cost of $18 million, and modernize Lake Shore, at an estimated cost of nearly $17 million.

Freetown Elementary, which was built in 1957, doesn't meet code because it lacks automatic fire sprinklers and requires major rehabilitation to bring the heating and air conditioning system to current standards, the study by Amos Bailey Arnold and Architects says.

Lake Shore, built in 1952, "would essentially become a new school" after undergoing a modernization, according to the feasibility study by Bignell Watkins Hasser Architects.

The school board will vote on what action to take from among the five options for each school, but the plan must be approved by the state, which, along with the county, would fund the projects. In the fiscal 2007 budget, the school system received $50 million for school projects already under construction.


Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.