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School board defies council on staffing


In defiance of the County Council, the Anne Arundel County school board will keep paying three people to track child sexual abuse complaints in the school system, contributing to a projected $1.5 million deficit for the budget that takes effect July 1.

For two years, the council has voted not to fund the positions, saying the money should be spent on teachers and other items.

Last year, the board filled the jobs anyway. Wednesday night, the board, without discussion, agreed to keep funding the positions and a fourth job relating to student safety and discipline.

The salaries and shortfalls in the operations, special education and instructional portions of the budget are expected to create a $1.5 million deficit, said Greg Nourse, financial director for county schools. Mr. Nourse already has planned for the school system to set aside $1.1 million in the budget to help cover the expected shortfall.

Three of the four positions were created on the recommendation of Alan I. Baron, a special investigator who criticized the board's handling of child abuse complaints filed against teachers.

Mr. Baron found that records often were lost, misplaced, or recorded improperly and that some allegations were ignored or handled in-house instead of referred to police or social services as required by law.

In response, the school board hired a staff attorney at a salary of $67,000; a supervisor of employee record-keeping at $60,000; and a $21,900 clerk. The coordinator of student safety, a job was created after parents complained about student behavior, earns $60,280.

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