TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — No layoffs and no furloughs for Baltimore County schools.
But as Suzanne Collins reports, the proposed budget could mean larger class sizes.
In the Baltimore County Schools’ proposed budget, there could be one or two more children in a classroom, but that won’t happen in kindergarten, first or second grades.
There will also be less money for school supplies and equipment. The teachers’ union is concerned.
“As far as paper, batteries for equipment they use, or computerware,” said Cheryl Bost, Teacher Association of Baltimore County. “We want to make sure some of those things are preserved so we can give the best instruction.”
Even though there are big cuts, this budget proposal is still $6.5 million more than last year’s. The reason for that is the school system expects to get about 900 more students in the fall.
The superintendent’s budget means 196 less teaching positions. Vacancies won’t be filled or retiring teachers replaced. School headquarters cut its budget by 5 percent, and the money given to each individual school will be reduced by the same amount.
Parents say somehow creative teachers will still educate children.
“I think they love their classrooms, and they have amazing teachers who create incredible environments, and I don’t think any of that is going to change,” said Yara Cheikh, Hampton Elementary PTA. “I think it’s going to be more of a challenge for teachers.”
The school system says cuts won’t affect security at schools or maintenance. Special education, science and technology and at-risk programs will remain untouched, as will teacher salaries and benefits.
“We’ve managed to avoid any kind of furlough or layoffs. We’re talking about making sure those teachers are compensated,” Charles Herndon, Baltimore County Public Schools.
The county gets more than 40 percent of its budget from the state, and it’s expected the legislature will be cutting school funding.