Anne Arundel County Board of Education passes $1.04 billion budget

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Wednesday passed interim superintendent Mamie J. Perkins' $1.04 billion budget for 2015, which includes funding for 73 school-based position and a 2 percent raise for all employees. 

The board voted 8-1 in favor of the budget, which is the largest in school history. The school also unanimously passed Perkins' $192.1 million capital budget. 

Prior to adopting the budget, the board also voted to add $6.2 million to fully cover step increases for teachers, which Perkins said was necessary to fulfill the terms of the agreement with the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County. 

The budget will now be sent to Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, who will present her budget proposal for next year on May 1. 

Thirty-two of the new positions in Perkins' budget were added to address growing enrollment in the school system. More than 78,000 students attend Anne Arundel County schools, with that number expected to hit 80,000 in the next few years. 

The operating budget also funds three more bilingual facilitators, something many parents asked for during public hearings earlier this year. The school system currently has 12 bilingual facilitators, who serve as a liaison between the schools and families who don't speak English. 

Perkins' recommended capital budget is around $50 million less than the school system's 2014 capital request. 

Her proposal includes more than $18 million for renovation projects at Annapolis, Crofton, Lothian and Mills-Parole elementary schools and $95 million in construction funding for Severna Park High School and Benfield, Rolling Knolls and West Annapolis elementary schools. 

The capital budget also contains funding for full-day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten additions, gymnasium additions at Millersville and Woodside elementary schools and $9 million to close open space classrooms at Magothy River Middle School and Meade High School. 


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