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Anne Arundel County education briefs

AACC braces for budget cuts

Calling it a response to state budget forecasts, Anne Arundel Community College officials have passed a $112 million budget, $2 million less than the year before.

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The budget was "very challenging" to develop, said James Johnson, a member of the school's board of trustees.

The budget includes a 2 percent increase in compensation for faculty and staff, as well as adjunct employees, that comes to about $1.5 million.

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AACC Vice President Melissa Beardmore said there are indications that County Executive Steve Schuh is considering adjusting compensation for county employees.

"We follow his lead," Beardmore said. "If we don't request it, we won't get it."

The college's budget includes a $3 per credit increase in charges, bringing the rate for in-county students to $105 per credit. The cost for a typical full-time student taking 15 credits would be $1,575.

For the next fiscal year, the college is projecting a smaller enrollment: 9,111 full-time students.

The end of the recession, officials said, has cost the college students who went back to school in lieu of work during hard times. The enrollment reached nearly 11,000 in 2008. The school's enrollment is now dropping to pre-recession levels.

The Maryland Association of Community Colleges is working with lawmakers to get $1.2 million in funding restored to the college. There will be a hearing on the bill at 3 p.m. Tuesday. If money is restored, officials said, the Arnold school will be able to take up the 29 initiatives and projects that department heads suggested. But none of those projects are in the pipeline now.

"We want to have an honest conversation for what we think is a responsible budget," Beardmore said. "Working with our board, we think this is a fiscally responsible budget."

—Kelcie Pegher, Baltimore Sun Media Group

Teacher of the year finalists

Educators from three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school make up the five finalists for the 2015 Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. The educators will be among 50 to be honored at the 29th annual Excellence in Education banquet at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum on April 10. The public school finalists, selected from a field of 10 semifinalists:

Meredith Claborn, a kindergarten teacher at Broadneck Elementary.

Iris Crankfield, an English teacher at South River High.

Kristen Duffy, a first-grade teacher at Bodkin Elementary.

Christine McCallister, a science teacher at Meade Middle.

Jennie Merrill, a fifth-grade teacher at Severna Park Elementary.

These educators are finalists for the 2015 Independent Schools Teacher of the Year:

Catherine Klase-Markey, a social science teacher at Archbishop Spalding High.

Virginia Ready, a science teacher at St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal School.

The banquet is presented annually in partnership with Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. The finalists will be interviewed by a panel of educators, administrators, students and business representatives. The Public Schools Teacher of the Year will represent Anne Arundel at the state Teacher of the Year competition.

Tickets for the event are $55 each. For tickets, go to aaaccc.org. Information: 410-266-3960.

Rotary scholarships

The Rotary Club of Annapolis is accepting scholarship applications from graduating seniors attending Annapolis-area high schools in ZIP codes 21401, 21403, 21409 and 21144, and home-schooled students. Up to four cash scholarship awards of $1,000 each are available to area students who plan to attend an accredited college or university and who have demonstrated a commitment to community service. Relatives of Rotary members are ineligible. The deadline is Sunday, March 1. For an application or more information, email cf1729@yahoo.com or go to the website at annapolisrotary.org/scholarships.

Financial aid access

Financial aid is available at Anne Arundel Community College. The college also has a no-fee, interest-free payment plan that allows the cost of tuition to be spread throughout a term. Payment plans are available. For information about financial aid, call 410-777-2203 or go to aacc.edu/finaid. Students can also meet with a financial aid representative on a walk-in basis at the Arnold campus, Glen Burnie Town Center, AACC at Arundel Mills or the Fort Meade Army Education Center.

Internship program

Anne Arundel Community College seeks employers to participate in its internship program. Students get real-world experience and mentoring from leaders in business, industry, government, and nonprofit agencies and organizations. For information, go to aacc.edu/foundation or aacc.edu/internships.

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