The school board restored half the 34 staff positions yesterday thatSuperintendent Michael E. Hickey had cut from his 1992-1993 operating budget proposal.

Board members followed Vice Chairman Dana F. Hanna's reasoning that, "Whatever we don't ask for, we cannot get," in restoring 16.5 staff jobs and adding a few other minor items to the budget that now goes to County Executive Charles I. Ecker.

The executive has power to cut the school budget in the proposal he submits to the County Council. Neither the executive or the council can add to the board's request.

The board's request is $184.5 million, about $800,000 more than Hickey's figure. The county government will be asked to provide $143 million, plus a supplement still to come for employee pay increases. The board has not yet reached agreement with school employee unions on salaries for 1992-1993.

Two private schools' requests for public bus transportation next fall were turned down when the board voted, 3-2, over the objections of Hanna andboard member Susan J. Cook, to hold the allocation for non-public school busing to this year's level, $167,000. The change saves about $182,000 in increased busing costs.

Staff positions restored by the board included four resource teachers in science, math, social studies and music, 2.5 psychologists and a half-time supervisor, 1.5 pupil personnel workers, one pupil personnel assistant and one supervisor, and a Black Student Achievement Program facilitator. The positions had been the focus of heavy lobbying at the public budget hearing and in calls and letters to board members.

Hanna joked that he got so many letters about the music position that his mailbox couldn't hold up under the weight.

"The letters were all self-written -- some long, some short -- and they spoke from the heart," he said.

The board also restored a math supervisor, a science supervisor, a regional technical center resource teacher, an occupational therapist and a teacher-trainer in special education.

Ecker said he couldn't say how the school budget will fare this year, but "things are tight. It appears that the budget level is going to be about the same as (this) year."

Ecker told county department heads to submit 1992-1993 budget requests no higher than their current allocations, but did not give the school board a financing "mark" this year. The school system's current allocation from the county is $135.5 million, $7.5 million less than the board is seeking.

Requests from Chapelgate Presbyterian Academy and Glenelg Country School to be added to the county schools' bus service list for 1992-1993 produced a rare split among board members, who are usually unanimous in their votes.

Board members agreed they could not afford to add Glenelg Country and Chapelgate to the five private schools currently receiving public bus service. A compromise effort by Hanna to increase the current allocation to $220,000 to shorten distances to bus stops for private school students also failed.

Glenelg Country School Headmaster Ryland O. Chapman III said he was "disappointed and sorry to hear" of the board vote. He said hewill have to meet with the school's transportation committee to decide whether to pursue any appeal. The school offers bus transportationto students for a $1,100 annual fee.

Chapelgate Academy headmaster James DiVirgilio could not be reached for comment.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad