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Erica L. Green | March 6, 2013
The Baltimore city school system is projecting a nearly $26 million increase in its fiscal year 2014 budget, officials said, however the district's central office will once again take a hit, with a near 9 percent cut. The figures were released in a preliminary budget forecast presented to the city school board last week. In the presentation, district officials project $1.17 billion in baseline revenues next year--roughly 2 percent increase from FY2013-- that includes increased local and state funding.
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NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2014
Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton said Wednesday that he is in the early stages of assessing where the central office can be more efficient and already cut back on two expenditures criticized during the previous administration. During a meeting with The Baltimore Sun's editorial board, Thornton said he will not employ a full-time driver, a job that has paid six-figure wages to a police sergeant for several years because of overtime. Thornton has also directed that limits be placed on how much is spent on food for professional development events and other meetings.
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NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2011
Baltimore City schools CEO Andrés Alonso has ordered yet another reorganization at the central office that could eliminate positions, a move that he says is not a cost-saving measure even though the system faces a $73 million shortfall in next year's budget. Alonso said Thursday that the plan is still in the preliminary stages but will continue his three-year effort to decentralize the administrative offices and push more resources into schools. His main goal is to require that administrators be more versatile in responding to the needs of students and principals, even outside their areas of expertise.
NEWS
July 18, 2014
I am pleased that Baltimore City schools CEO Gregory Thornton has issued a new policy directive at the start of his tenure requiring principals to consult with the central office before suspending pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students ( "City seeks to curb pre-K and kindergarten suspensions," July 9). By doing this, the superintendent is setting a tone that many incoming school heads usually do not set just days after taking the helm. I agree that principals and teachers need to find alternative methods for disciplining students.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2012
Shortly before retiring this summer, Howard County school superintendent Sydney Cousin told employees in the central office that he was giving them a pay raise but did not take the matter before the school board for approval. Some board members say that while it is within the purview of the superintendent to recommend raises for nonunion employees, the board must approve such actions and several criticized what they called a lack of transparency. Cousin, however, said in an interview last week that he believed he followed the correct process.
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Brent Jones and Sara Neufeld and Brent Jones,Sun reporters | March 12, 2008
Stunned Baltimore school system employees met yesterday to learn about coming job cuts, a streamlining outlined in the $1.2 billion budget proposal that schools chief Andres Alonso brought to a standing-room-only meeting of the school board last night. The proposal cuts $110 million from the central office while redistributing $70 million to schools and giving principals significantly more autonomy. Principals, who now have about $90 per student in discretionary money, will have at least $5,600 per student to use as they see fit, plus more money with strings attached.
NEWS
May 13, 2011
Baltimore City schools CEO Andrés Alonso says he's not concerned about the "optics" of hiring 16 new highly paid headquarters staff at a time when school budgets are shrinking and the system is shedding hundreds of "excess" teachers and other personnel through buyouts. But given that Mr. Alonso came into office promising to cut the system's bloated central office in order to free up resources for individual schools, he should be worried by how this looks. He may have the best reasons in the world for wanting to reorganize his department this way, but he'd better be willing to explain to the public why he's not going back on his word.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | May 4, 2011
The Baltimore school system is proposing to eliminate almost 100 central office jobs and increase the number of school support staff as part of the third reorganization in four years ordered by city schools CEO Andrés Alonso. About 89 central office employees were notified last week that their positions will be eliminated on June 30, as Alonso carries out a plan he announced in February to expand job descriptions for city school administrators. The school system will also increase the number of central office staff who provide support to schools in "networks," from 50 to 169 full-time positions.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 16, 1998
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled, 7-1, yesterday that phone customers may not arrange to receive long-distance services and then sue the phone company for breach of contract for failing to honor the deal.Under federal law, the only services that long-distance companies may provide are those they offer without discrimination to all their customers, the court said.The ruling overturned a federal appeals court decision that AT&T Corp. could be sued under state law for entering into a deal for unique long-distance service to a telephone service packager -- a reseller -- and then failing to deliver.
BUSINESS
By Michael J. Himowitz | February 2, 1997
AN ANGRY AOL subscriber (as if there's any other kind these days) called me to complain about the trouble she's having getting through to the country's biggest online service."
NEWS
September 18, 2013
Andrew Cassilly recently announced his candidacy for the Bel Air seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, District 35B. Cassilly is a lifelong resident of Harford County, graduating from Bel Air High School in 1984 and enlisting in the 29th light Infantry Division of the Army National Guard. He attended Millersville University in Pennsylvania with assistance from the GI bill. After college, Cassilly was hired as a certified manual arts therapist at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, working with retired veterans.
NEWS
Erica L. Green | March 6, 2013
The Baltimore city school system is projecting a nearly $26 million increase in its fiscal year 2014 budget, officials said, however the district's central office will once again take a hit, with a near 9 percent cut. The figures were released in a preliminary budget forecast presented to the city school board last week. In the presentation, district officials project $1.17 billion in baseline revenues next year--roughly 2 percent increase from FY2013-- that includes increased local and state funding.
NEWS
October 8, 2012
Because Baltimore City has long struggled to correct the problems of its chronically underperforming school system, Maryland has for decades funded education in the city at a higher level than other jurisdictions. That is why a preliminary audit report detailing evidence of waste, fraud and abuse in the system represents a potentially devastating indictment of the city's school reform effort. If allegations of mismanagement, lax oversight and incompetence lead lawmakers in Annapolis to question the city's use of the public funds it receives, support for school reform here could dry up overnight.
NEWS
September 1, 2012
Regarding your story on questionable credit card expenses by Baltimore City school administrators, the various explanations offered by school officials are unconvincing despite their incredible rhetoric ("City school officials play loose with credit," Aug. 26). A prime example is the description of a $13,000 catering bill for a central office meeting as "fellowshipping around food that has existed in city schools for decades. " First, saying something has been done for decades doesn't mean it is right.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green | August 27, 2012
In the last year, as Baltimore city schools' budgetary decisions -- $14 million in overtime, generous leave payouts, a renovated IT Department -- have faced heightened scrutiny, officials have defended much of their spending as "the cost of doing business. " In April, The Baltimore Sun sought to get a better picture of what exactly some of that business was -- and several sources informed us that credit card and procurement card statements, which outlined day-to-day activities at the system's central headquarters would do so. We began a four-month task by requesting credit and procurement card statements showing activity by central office staff from 2009 through 2011, through a Maryland Public Information Act Request in April.
EXPLORE
August 18, 2012
Board of County Commissioners President Doug Howard last week asked the Board of Education to add the Winchester Building - the headquarters building for the entire school system - to its list of buildings that will be reviewed for possible sale. Howard made the request to the school board's Facilities Study Group, which is working to determine if money can be saved by reducing the number of facilities the school system operates. Howard said he was concerned that the group would recommend closing one or more county schools without considering moving the central office staff to other sites available around the county.
NEWS
March 17, 2011
A tale of two school systems: In Baltimore City, CEO Andrés Alsonso has reduced staff in the central office, hired more teachers and decreased class sizes. In Baltimore County, Superintendent Joe A. Hairston has increased his staff, is laying off teachers, and high school class sizes will grow. Which school system do you think is on the right track to improving education? William Schlapack
NEWS
By Linda MacMurray Gibbs | October 11, 1990
SCADS of articles have appeared in the press recently on proposed reforms in education, all pointing toward a new era of "school-based management." In this scenario, the principal is the central leader of the school, empowered to make decisions and take action without needing approval from a central office. The rationale is sound, based on the concept that decisions are most informed at the school level, where knowledge of the circumstances is greatest.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2012
Shortly before retiring this summer, Howard County school superintendent Sydney Cousin told employees in the central office that he was giving them a pay raise but did not take the matter before the school board for approval. Some board members say that while it is within the purview of the superintendent to recommend raises for nonunion employees, the board must approve such actions and several criticized what they called a lack of transparency. Cousin, however, said in an interview last week that he believed he followed the correct process.
SPORTS
By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2012
Ron Belinko spent a lot of time at high school games over the last 21 years, despite the heavy load of office work and meetings that came with being coordinator of athletics for the Baltimore County Public Schools. He never could let go of the student-athletes who remained the focus of everything he did over a 46-year career as a teacher, coach, athletic director and central office administrator with the county. Belinko, who will retire Friday, found no better measure of how well he did his job than seeing it all come together on the field.
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