IMMEDIATE ATTENTION NEEDED
Please take a minute to read the letter from Dr. Parker below. Our response is needed urgently.
Budget Presentation To The Board Of Supervisors Feb 16 2017
On behalf of the school division, I am writing to ask for your support of the school division Proposed Budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. This budget was approved by the Caroline County School Board on February 13, 2017 and presented in detail to the Caroline County Board of Supervisors on February 16, 2017.
I have included that presentation for your review as well as a Dear Colleague letter to the community which outlines my assessment of the Proposed County Budget which will go before the Board of Supervisors on April 11, 2017 for approval.
I ask that you please consider the following actions:
- Review the information included with this letter
- Assist our school division in the communication of accurate information regarding the Proposed County Budget and the impact of this budget on our public schools.
- Encourage your membership to reach out to your elected representative on the Board of Supervisors prior to the April 11th meeting to ask for additional funding for the school division.
Parent advocacy is needed now more than ever before. While the County Budget will address important community needs in the areas such as fire and rescue services in this budget; it falls short in meeting the immediate personnel needs of our school division. With the proposed level of funding:
- Much of the work accomplished this year to place our employees on their current step on the salary scale will be put at risk. The school division invested over $600,000 in cuts to the current budget to accomplish this last year. This enabled our division to become more competitive for teachers and other staff in the regional job market. By not funding the step increase this year, we will lose any advantages that we have gained in recruitment and retention of staff.
- It will be difficult to address significant wage discrepancies for Bus Drivers and Paraprofessionals who earn significantly less per hour than divisions in this region. The School Division’s Budget provides for a cost of living increase for these employees.
- While the County will add an additional 6 positions with the Proposed Budget, our schools will struggle to add positions in needed areas such as Gifted Education and English as a Second Language. Currently two Gifted Education Teachers (ESL) provide service for over 200 identified gifted learners and two ESL teachers are spread among all five of our schools.
Simply put, the Proposed County Budget does not meet the needs of our schools and we should encourage our elected officials to provide for a better balance of resources between the County and Schools prior to approving their budget. There are very real consequences should we fail to advocate for our children. Below is a summary of some of the consequences which concern me the most:
- Over a three year period CCPS has had over a 50% turnover in teachers. Additionally, we started the school year with eight teacher vacancies. When we rely heavily on permanent substitutes to provide instruction, our students may not receive the quality of education necessary to be successful.
- When trained veteran teachers leave and are replaced by new teachers, there is a negative impact on the overall quality of education in our schools. Currently three of five schools are not fully accredited.
- When the school division is limited in adding instructional and support staff in areas such as Gifted Education, English as a Second Language and Special Education, we stand the risk of denying some of our students a quality education.
Let’s ensure that our County Budget reflects a commitment to partnering with our school division to improve education for all students in Caroline County. This will not be possible without the voice of the community.
Thank you for your support of Children, Dr. George Parker
Check out the Parent Institute. It’s a great resource with cutting edge information and wonderful ideas to help us support our children.