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Baltimore County school board says it hasn't finished budget proposal

With teachers planning protests, Baltimore County’s school board has backed away somewhat from a proposed budget for next year that would eliminate all raises.

The budget, which was presented on Tuesday night, would give employees no pay increase next year and would take away the annual increase that teachers get based on their length of service.

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But Kathleen Causey, president of the board, noted that “the board has not voted on any aspect of the budget. The process is ongoing and the board members are engaged through analysis and robust discussions.”

Baltimore County teachers say they will protest a revised school budget which gives them little pay increases.

She said the board could modify the budget to add back some items that were cut recently.

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Two weeks ago, Interim Superintendent Verletta White presented a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that would have increased funding overall by 7.5 percent. The $1.6 billion request also would have asked the county to fund $91 million more than it is required to do so by state law, a significantly larger request than it has made in previous years.

After County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. wrote a letter to the board saying he had a budget gap of $81 million in his operating budget — even without the increases White was seeking — Causey directed White to present a pared down budget.

The Baltimore County school board will be acting soon to hire a firm to do a national search for a new superintendent.

White says she stands behind the first budget because it represents what the system needs, but she understands fiscal constraints.

The revised budget has been under attack for the last several days from teachers, who want more in pay, and advocates who believe the county is not taking into account the needs of its students.

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