"We never expected to be rich," Moore said, but counted on the step increases included in his and his wife's contracts.

As a result of working additional jobs, he added that they've had to cut back time spent with students after school and attending school functions.

"Please find a way to fund our step increases," Moore told the board.

Board reaction

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Many board of education members responded to the comments made, including a visibly emotional Alysson Krchnavy.

"This job is not something that's easy and [one] I take very seriously," she said. Krchnavy asked those in attendance not to question "whether I'm an advocate" for teachers in the county.

"I hear what you guys say and thank you for sharing your thoughts," she said.

Board member Cassandra Beverley said she doesn't believe "I'd be here without the teachers in my life" and hopes the teachers don't feel that the board doesn't understand how hard they work.

She said she is completely aware of the teachers' "level of conviction and willingness to do the hard work."

Member Nancy Reynolds also told the crowd that the board is listening to their comments.

"Your words are very powerful," she noted.

Member Bob Frisch said, "As an educator, I understand what you go through every day" and said he appreciates them.

Member Joseph Hau and vice president Rick Grambo also said they appreciate the teachers speaking up.

Budget adjustments

Jim Jewell, assistant superintendent of business services, also gave a presentation on the board of education's proposed fiscal year 2013 operating budget in response to what the Harford County Council approved Tuesday.

Jewell noted that during the recent special legislative session, a bill was approved to pass a portion of teacher pension costs to the county — roughly $5.5 million for Harford this upcoming fiscal year — and adjustments would need to be made in regard to revenue requested.

The board's original request for about $23.9 million from the county will need to be adjusted to about $18 million.

In total revenue, the board will need to make an adjustment of about $3.82 million in its budget.

Krchnavy asked if there was any possibility of any more revenue coming in.

"I don't envision we'll get any increase in money from the county or state," Jewell said, as both budgets have been approved for fiscal year 2013.

No action was taken Thursday. What they are is still being determined, according to Teri Kranefeld, spokesperson for the school system.