Anne Arundel schools superintendent's proposed budget includes charter school funding

Anne Arundel County schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell has recommended an operating budget for the coming year that is $37.5 million more than the amount approved last year but will meet negotiated agreements with the system's four unions and includes funding for charter school expansion.

Maxwell presented his $969 million recommendation at Wednesday night's school board meeting, saying that it included $1.34 million to hire 20 school-based mentor teachers required by state Department of Education regulations to meet federal Race to the Top initiatives.

It also includes $2.3 million to cover expansion at the county's two charter schools: Chesapeake Science Point, which will add a 10th grade; and Monarch Academy, which will add third and seventh grades.

AACPS chief operating officer Alex Szachnowicz said that on Dec. 9, a tentative agreement was reached that will be presented to the Board of Education for approval and to the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County for ratification. In October, state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick declared an impasse in contract negotiations between the Arundel school system and its teachers union for the current fiscal year.

Szachnowicz said that funds in Maxwell's proposal do not include any terms spelled out in the tentative agreement, but added, "We fully intend to adjust the budget before the board's final vote to account for this tentative agreement once it has been approved and ratified."

Maxwell also proposed a $157.4 million capital budget, which includes about $47 million for continuing renovations at Northeast High School and Belle Grove, Folger McKinsey and Point Pleasant elementary schools.

The school system will hold public hearings on the budget in January. The County Council must approve it by June.

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