Anne Arundel County teachers have already approved a new three-year contract that guarantees them two raises in 1994, but they're still waiting for the county school board to seal the deal this week.
The teachers -- who spent 11 months negotiating and finally had to call for an arbitrator -- voted Sept. 8 to drop a lawsuit in exchange for a contract that will give them their first pay raises in three years.
The school board is scheduled to ratify the contract at its meeting tomorrow, which begins at 10:30 a.m. at the school system headquarters on Riva Road in Annapolis.
"I hope they'll ratify it so that we can put this behind us," said Thomas J. Paolino, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County.
"I'm not anticipating a problem," he said.
County teachers had filed a lawsuit seeking money they lost when they were furloughed for four days in 1992, but agreed to drop the suit in exchange for two raises within six months. The first raise, a 2 percent increase, would take effect Jan. 1, 1994. The second raise, a 4 percent increase, would take effect July 1,
The combined raises would cost the school system about $12.5 million -- $2.5 million for the January raise and $10 million for the July raise.
Money for the 4 percent raise must still be approved by the County Council. Mr. Paolino said the union has been lobbying council members and suggested the suit would not be dropped if the second raise is not approved.
The eight Board of Education members also will have other money matters to consider tomorrow -- the proposed $84.8 million 1994-1995 construction budget and an anticipated cutback in the amount the state contributes toward the construction costs of a new school or addition.
There are 35 construction projects on the list for next year. Some of the projects will be paid with both county and state money, including $19.2 million for the new Meade Area Middle School, $20 million for an addition to Broadneck Senior High School and $8.8 million for the new Park Elementary School.
Michael K. Raible, director of planning and construction for county schools, said that in the past the state has paid 55 percent of the cost of building a school.
"They are considering revising that to covering 50 percent of eligible costs," Mr. Raible said.
The county will pay the remaining construction costs and cover the costs for architectural and electrical planning, as well as furniture and equipment.
"In other words, the state used to pick up about a third of the cost of getting a school up and running, and that amount will now be less than a third," Mr. Raible said.
A final decision by the state on how much it will contribute is expected to be made tomorrow, he said.
There is some good financial news, however, Mr. Raible said.
The state has agreed to pay some of the cost of putting additions on school buildings, provided the additions are used for pre-kindergarten programs for 4-year-olds. The cost of additions at five schools, as proposed by Acting Superintendent Carol S. Parham, would be $750,000.
The schools are Germantown, Van Bokkelen, Marley, Freetown and Harman elementaries.