Final budget adjustments approved by the school board on June 11 will result in the loss of 66 classroom positions and seven central office positions.

According to figures Kranefeld released late Tuesday afternoon, 34 of the job cuts are at the secondary level, 28 at the elementary level and four are in special education. "All 73 position reductions were accomplished through attrition," she said.

Based on the planned position cuts, the school system will have approximately 5,360 full-time equivalent positions next year, down from 5,448 in the current budget and 124 fewer from the all-time high of 5,484 in 2010-11, when the system added a number of temporary positions funded with federal economic recovery funds, most of which were in turn cut in the 2011-12 budget.


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The position and spending cuts come at a time when total enrollment continues to shrink. Depending on which school system enrollment report being used - budget data or historical data - the Harford system has lost between 1,300 and 2,000 students since the 2005-06 school year and is projected to lose another 200 to 250 students in 2012-13.

 

Remainder of 2013 budget approved

Amending the previously approved budget components for fiscal year 2013, the school board Monday also approved a capital budget of $14,911,610, a restricted fund budget of $26,464,158 and food services budget of $15,147,627.

While the capital budget decreased from the original amount of $15,706,131 because of a lack of funding from the state, both the restricted and food services budget increased because of additional projected grants and a negotiated wage package for food service employees.

The adjustments in the capital budget, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jim Jewell said, is because "the state didn't give us all the money we requested for Red Pump [Elementary]."

The only item in the school system's capital budget funded locally is $400,000 for relocatable classrooms, or portables as they are often called. Last week, five portables were demolished at Prospect Mill Elementary School.

Portable classroom questions

Board member James Thornton asked Jewell if the classrooms that will be disposed of using the $400,000 were no longer in use or if they were being removed for another reason.

After redistricting, explained Superintendent of Operations Cornell Brown, the county had many relocatable classrooms that were no longer "being used to house students."

The school system, he continued, is evaluating the classrooms' current use to know exactly which ones can be removed — a matter to be approved by the board later — and which will stay "to address any program" or resource use.

Brown said the funds involved are for the potential removal of the portables and restoration of the ground where they had been.

Board vice president Rick Grambo asked how the school system plans to dispose of the classrooms.

It depends on the type of relocatable classroom, Brown said. Some will be completely removed intact from school grounds and some can be demolished and disposed of on site.

"Why can't we leave them there?" Grambo asked.

Brown explained that most portables are being used, either for storage or as resource areas during the school day.

The school system will complete an evaluation to see which classrooms aren't being used at all and then possibly recommend that those classrooms be taken off the school's site.

Where savings may come into play, Brown continued, is when the portables are removed completely, because all of them, regardless if they're being used, consume power.