Arundel schools chief imposes hiring freeze

May 08, 2007

Anne Arundel schools Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell froze hiring yesterday for about 50 unfilled nonclassroom jobs after County Executive John R. Leopold proposed funding far less than the school district had requested.

The positions include business managers, custodians, clerks and technology staff. The savings from leaving the jobs open was not immediately clear.

The $1.44 billion fiscal 2008 budget that Leopold unveiled May 1 included $812 million for public schools. That represented an 8 percent increase from last year, not the 17 percent rise Maxwell had sought. The County Council must approve a spending plan by May 31.

"We are going to need to make some serious cuts, and those cuts will hurt the children we educate every day," Maxwell said in a prepared statement. "We are hopeful the County Council will restore some of the cuts to our request, but we cannot proceed with filling these positions until we see what action the council takes."

More than 200 county government jobs have been left vacant under a hiring freeze that Leopold imposed in December.

School and county officials have been at loggerheads since January, when Maxwell asked for a $130 million increase that he said was needed to turn Anne Arundel County schools "from good to great."

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