TAAAC

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FUND OUR SCHOOLS

April 11, 2017
Will the Board of Education budget – and your future – be fully funded? You can make a difference NOW!

RAISE Anne Arundel is TAAAC’s campaign for YOUR Future.

raise anne arundel

Your individual activism is needed to ensure fully funded schools. On May 1 the County Executive presents his budget to the county council. The council can only move money around in the budget and cannot add to it. Please take some time to write to the County Executive to urge him to make school funding a priority.

Click Here to send a letter to the County Executive

We need a larger turnout of letters. Please take a moment and tell your story. Our power is in the numbers of members willing to take part in the process.

Sign Up to attend one or both of the County Council Budget Hearings in May.

May 8, 2017 at North County High and/or May 11, 2017 at Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts. Both events begin at 6:00PM with a rally and 7:00PM for the budget hearings.

Thank you again for your past activism and I look forward to your continued work alongside colleagues across our county to "Raise Anne Arundel" for strong schools, strong families, and strong communities.

Sign up to phone bank with us on Tuesday, May 2; Thursday, May 4

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #RaiseAnneArundel to keep the conversation going.

April 15, 2016
Will the Board of Education budget – and your future – be fully funded? You can make a difference NOW!

RAISE Anne Arundel is TAAAC’s campaign for YOUR Future.

raise anne arundel

Tell County Executive Steve Schuh to fully fund our schools. Click here to send him and email.

Be at the County Council Budget Hearings, Monday, May 9 and Thursday, May 12. Click here to sign-up.

Rally with TAAAC (6:30 to 7:00 PM) before the County Executive’s Budget Town Halls:

Tuesday, April 19 at Crofton Elementary
(1405 Duke of Kent Dr. Crofton, MD 21114)
Wednesday, April 27 at Severna Park Middle
(450 Jumpers Hole Rd, Severna Park, MD 21146)
Get the word out:

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #RaiseAnneArundel to keep the conversation going.

Get together with your colleagues and make sure everyone at your school signed up for the Budget Hearings!

Sign up to phone bank with us on Thursday, April 21; Tuesday, April 26; or Monday, May 2.

Thanks for all that you do.
Richard Benfer,
TAAAC President

 
December 03, 2015

Budget Presentation by Alex Szachnowicz

DOWNLOAD HERE

April 17, 2015
From Number One to Unranked / Time to Carry Signs!

TAAAC members are asked to come to a Public Hearing on Anne Arundel County’s FY16 Budget on Monday, May 11, at Annapolis High School and to arrive by 6:30PM to join in 30 minutes of informational picketing prior to the 7:00 Hearing.

Why carry signs? To bring attention to the injury six consecutive years of no more than maintenance of effort allocations from the County Executive and Council caused to Anne Arundel Public Schools. Anne Arundel County enjoys the 4th highest per capita income in Maryland. Yet…

  • Despite the high ranking in income, Anne Arundel’s Education Effort (a data point maintained by MSDE) ranks 10th in the state.
  • US News and World Report published its Best Schools list. According to the article: “Maryland is home to myriad schools ranked in 2014 among the U.S. News Best High Schools, including 13 with gold medals, 29 with silver medals and six with bronze medals.” Yes, fourteen Maryland districts were represented on the list. They were Allegany, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Garrett, Howard,Montgomery, Prince George, Somerset, Washington, and Worcester. Conspicuously, Anne Arundel, one of the five largest and four wealthiest, had no high school in the rankings.
  • Over the past five years, average teacher salary in Anne Arundel has shrunk. Its negative growth rate (-2.0%) ranks it 20th in Maryland with lower growth rates only in Harford, Kent, Dorchester, and Carroll Counties.
  • In the current fiscal year, average teacher salary ranks below the state average.

A seventh year of the minimum lawfully allowable allocation will only serve to continue the downward slide in the quality and prestige of our local public education system and diminish our capacity to recruit and retain highly qualified educators. Please plan to attend, and please wear TAAAC blue. Bring your own sign or hold one of ours.

Negotiations (Workload, Workload, Workload…)

The bargaining teams are scheduled to meet again on April 28th for a daylong session. It is with certainty that topics related to work time and workload will occupy a good portion of the time. The TAAAC team would like to hear from members who can identify duties or tasks that should or could be reduced or eliminated. As resources including time become more and more scarce, and more and more demands are made, we would like to cull duties and tasks that have fallen in relative value when compared to preparing, delivering, and supporting instruction. Please email any suggestions to BJones@mseanea.org.

Elementary School Departmentalization

In addressing one component of our growing workload problem in FY15 negotiations, TAAAC and the Board agreed on a good faith effort to reduce hours spent in meetings and to departmentalize elementary schools where it appropriate. The following contract provisions are currently in effect and have been since July 1, 2014. Elementary school faculty advisory councils and principals should be having discussions as prescribed below.

  1. Administrators will limit the number of meetings where administratively possible to afford elementary teachers optimal time for planning.
  2. Principals and FAC’s will collaboratively consider departmentalizing to assist in managing elementary teacher workload. If a collaborative determination cannot be made, assistance may be sought from the appropriate supervisor or designee.
  3. AACPS with TAAAC involvement shall examine and implement best practices to improve the utilization of elementary school planning time.

Fund Our Schools Campaign

The email component of the Funds Our Schools effort has generated 3,609 emails to the County Executive and Council. Mr. Schuh has thirteen days remaining before his first Anne Arundel County budget is presented. There is still time to reach out. Feel free to use some of the talking points in this update in place of the default message provided.

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=36338

Remember!

Public Budget Hearing
Monday, May 11, 2015
Annapolis High School
Picket 6:30pm to 7:00pm

…our final public opportunity to influence the county’s budget allocation to our schools…

April 13, 2015
State Budget Update

As you may have seen in the news, Governor Hogan is threatening to withhold nearly $70 million for our schools unless the General Assembly passes his legislative agenda, which includes a voucher scheme that uses public dollars to fund private schools and give corporations tax breaks. The funding he is threatening to withhold is from the Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI), which provides funding to 13 counties that educate 80% of our state’s children. Our county is one of those affected.

Today is the last day of the General Assembly session, and we are calling on Gov. Hogan to stop his threats and fund our schools. In Anne Arundel County, $4.8 million is at risk due to Gov. Hogan’s threat.

Legislators from both parties voted overwhelmingly to restore this funding, and made sure that it was possible. Only Gov. Hogan is holding it up.

Please call Gov. Hogan at 410-974-3901 and urge him to release this critical GCEI funding for our schools. You can also tweet at Gov. Hogan (@LarryHogan). Use the hashtags #mdga15 and #mdpolitics15.

Thank you for your advocacy on the local budget. It looks like we need some at the state level as well.

Emails

Speaking of the advocacy on the local level, we have now generated 2,378 emails to the Anne Arundel County Executive and Council. That is 168 more than we had on Friday. To those of you who made the contacts, “Thank you.”

There is still time to act. Mr. Schuh will have the budget in his hands for another seventeen days. To make a quick contact, go to:

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=36338

There is a default message for your convenient use, but it is often more effective for members to replace it with their own personal messages

Anne Arundel County Public Hearing on the Budget

Please plan to attend and support our local President, Richard Benfer, and others who will be advocating for student and educators.

Budget Hearing

Monday, May 11, 7:00PM
Annapolis High School

March 26th, 2015
Thank You!

As of this mailing, TAAAC members and other educators have collectively sent 1,648 emails to the County Executive and Council, and they have been getting attention. Mr. Schuh has developed a response. A portion of it outlines his view of the “good job” our county has done for its teachers. He explains:

The largest component of the operating budget is teacher salaries, where I believe the county has done a good job. Average teacher salaries, including Unit I employees, have increased from about $54,000 in 2005 to over $66,000 in 2015, representing an increase of more than 22%. The Maryland state average is currently about $65,500. Anne Arundel County teachers also receive generous and well deserved pension, health and time-off benefits. Our teachers are required to work 191 days per year and enjoy summer, Christmas and spring breaks.

The County's allocation of only Maintenance of Effort funding for half dozen consecutive years cannot in any reasonable way be considered doing a "good job" for its teachers! In reality, the allocation is the lowest level of funding allowable under state law. In his defense, it should be stated that Mr. Schuh had no part in those budgets. Those were under the Leopold and Neuman administrations. We hope that Mr. Schuh will do better.

It’s not too late to have your say. The below link is still alive and can be used to quickly and easily contact the County Executive and Council and give your opinion.

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=36338

Join the Picket Line TONIGHT

Bring friends, family, colleagues, and any anyone else that supports public education.

North County High School
10 East 1st Street
Linthicum, Maryland
Thursday, March 26th
6:15 to 7:00 PM
(Plan on arriving by 6:00)

Maintenance of Effort Only budgets are choking our school system and injuring both educators and students. Another year of the same will cause:

  • Class Sizes to Further Increase
  • Teaching and Learning Conditions to Further Deteriorate
  • Salaries to Continue to Stagnate


Join the picket then leave, or stay for the Town Hall meeting. It is a 45-minute investment in support of our profession and our students’ futures.

Other activities are forthcoming. All pertinent updates and materials will be posted here. Check back frequently.

March 24, 2015
Education Effort Index

The Maryland State Department of Education 2013-14 Fact Book is now out available for review. Among the data maintained in the MSDE booklet is the Education Effort Index. It compares the financial effort made by 23 counties and Baltimore City toward educating their children. Not surprisingly, Anne Arundel County does not rank too highly, especially considering it is the third wealthiest county in Maryland.

The Education effort is calculated by dividing local education appropriation by local wealth and indexing to State average. Despite its standing as one of the state’s wealthiest, it ranks only tenth in the Education Effort Index standing below Howard, Charles, Calvert, Montgomery, Frederick, Carroll, Baltimore, Harford, and Prince George’s.

Anne Arundel’s low standing is not going to improve if the trend of a allocating only the minimum allowable under state law, Maintenance of Effort, continues. In the interest of our students and our profession, we need to do what’s necessary to put a halt to that trend. For now, we are reaching out to County Executive Schuh with emails and postcards, and bringing the plight of public education to the public by carrying some signs on Thursday evening. We hope that every available member will participate in both activities.

As of the date and time of this update, members have generated 1,380 emails to the County Executive and Council. Those who have not yet reached out to Mr. Schuh with a request that he fund the school budget should consider doing so. It is always helpful when elected officials hear from educators other than the TAAAC President. The link is immediately below.

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=36338

Signs and Buttons

Signs and buttons encouraging Mr. Schuh to fund our schools have arrived. We will have them available for wearing and carrying at Thursday’s picketing. The signs can be used in yards and windows after the picketing event is concluded.

Join the Picket Line
We need you!

North County High School
10 East 1st Street
Linthicum, Maryland
Thursday, March 26th
6:15 to 7:00 PM
(Plan on arriving by 6:00)

Another budget allocating only Maintenance of Effort should not be passively tolerated. Maintenance of Effort Only budgets are choking our school system and injuring both educators and students. Another year of the same will cause:

  • Class Sizes to Further Increase
  • Teaching and Learning Conditions to Further Deteriorate
  • Salaries to Continue to Stagnate



Join the picket and leave, or stay for the Town Hall meeting.

Please plan on joining the picket line. It is a 45-minute investment in our profession and in our students’ futures. If not us, then who?

Other activities are forthcoming. All pertinent updates and materials will be posted here.

School Funding Update
March 18, 2015
School Funding CapWiz

Our on-line advocacy program is doing its job. Thank you to all who have participated so quickly. As of this morning, members have generated 536 contacts to the County Executive and Council using CapWiz. Please continue to make the contacts using either a message of your own or the pre-loaded default message.

Those who have not yet reached out to Mr. Schuh to encourage him to fund the school budget should consider doing so. It is always helpful when elected officials hear from educators other than the TAAAC President. It reminds them that there are other voices - lots of other voices - behind the elected spokesperson. Here is the link:

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=36338

Signs and Buttons

Signs and buttons encouraging Mr. Schuh to fund our schools have arrived and will be brought to next week's picketing event to be worn and carried. The signs can double as yard signs after the picketing is over.

Join the Picket Line
Take 45 minutes to support your profession and your students' futures

North County High School
10 East 1st Street
Linthicum, Maryland
Thursday, March 26th
6:15 to 7:00 PM
(Plan on arriving by 6:00)

Another budget allocating only Maintenance of Effort should not be passively tolerated. Maintenance of Effort Only budgets are choking our school system and injuring both educators and students. Another year of the same will cause:

  • Class Sizes to Further Increase
  • Teaching and Learning Conditions to Further Deteriorate
  • Salaries to Continue to Stagnate
  • Join the picket and leave at 7:00, or stay for the Town Hall meeting.
  • March 13, 2015
    FUNDING Update

    With the Board’s budget action of February 18th, there is sufficient funding for a step increase for Unit 1 employees. TAAAC’s bargaining team is working at the bargaining table to secure a settlement that would provide more than a “steps-only” settlement and is disinclined to voluntarily accept an agreement that provides no more than steps.

    In addition to the compensation issues, the parties are looking closely at ways to provide more time for Unit I educators to meet the growing demands on educator time. To do so, we are looking at limitations of meetings, non-professional duties, and regulated mandatory group planning.

    No changes in healthcare coverages or premium splits are anticipated.

    Some additional dates were added to the bargaining schedule. Two are remaining. They are March 25th and April 9th. It is anticipated that the parties will either conclude on the 9th, or perhaps find that an impasse exists.

    As most readers know, any agreement reached is subject to funding. Six months’ of effort at the bargaining table can crumble to dust by the stroke of the County Executive’s pen or a click of his mouse. We need to encourage to Mr. Schuh to fund the Board’s budget request.

    Mr. Schuh, Please Fund Our Schools!

    A campaign to secure school funding is underway.

    TAAAC members in schools with active AR’s will be receiving postcards on which they will be asked to draft a brief message to Mr. Schuh. Those postcards will be collected and periodically hand delivered to the Arundel Center during the coming six weeks while Mr. Schuh prepares his budget. Please complete a card and return it to the Association Representative at your school or worksite.

    TAAAC members who prefer to communicate to Mr. Schuh electronically can do so quickly and easily using the below link:

    http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=36338

    Simply copy and paste the link into a web browser, complete the information on the front page (can take less than a minute), then click the SUBMIT button to proceed to the second and final page. On that page is a default message for members’ convenient usage. Or, members may delete that message and leave their own.

    Please take a few minutes and use that link at least once over the next few weeks.

    Sample Messages

    Compensation for Anne Arundel County public school educators has fallen behind that of colleagues with comparable years of experience in neighboring counties, diminishing the competitive position of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools in the recruitment of high quality teacher candidates and retention of currently employed highly qualified teachers.

    High school counselors have caseloads of more than 400 and some elementary school counselors can have a few hundred more than that. The recommended ASCA average is 250-350. Montgomery, Howard, and Fairfax counties have that average.

    We did the right thing. We started a college fund for our children. With no steps for four and a half years to keep up with rising costs of living, we’ve had to borrow from it so often it may not be there when it’s needed.

    I was born in Anne Arundel County. I graduated from Glen Burnie High School and Anne Arundel County Community College before going on to my Bachelor’s degree. I teach here, coach here, and love both. But staying here is to my family’s economic detriment.

    By the time I pay my rent, utilities, car payment, and student loan, I have about $150 for food and gas. Who would have thought I’d be taking home less now than three years ago.

    I’m in my 9th year with a Master’s Degree and great evaluations, earning $53,149. Calvert County will pay me $7,200 more; Howard $5,510 more, and Montgomery $14,763 more. Even tiny Cecil County would pay me $2,341 more with a far lower cost of living. Why does anyone stay here!?

    We are professional educators holding graduate degrees, even doctorates. We should be able to live a little better than we do.

    Class sizes are too large in honors classes and for some in standard classes. It’s a huge workload issue.

    Anne Arundel County’s professional school counselors, pupil personnel workers, school psychologists, social workers and other related service providers carry caseloads two and three times greater than those recommended by their respective professional associations, leaving their student populations underserved.

    It’s time to carry signs. County Executive Schuh is holding a series of Town Hall meetings on the budget and other items of importance to Anne Arundel County citizenry. TAAAC along with other like-minded organizations will be holding some informational picketing at the third and final Town Hall. It is at North County High School on Thursday, March 26th, from 6:15PM to 7:00PM. Another budget allocating only Maintenance of Effort should not be passively tolerated. MOE-only budgets are choking our school system and injuring both educators and students. TAAAC will have buttons and signs available. Members interested in doing so are free to design and wear and/or carry creations of their own.

    Please plan on joining the picket line. It is a 45-minute investment in our profession and in our students’ futures. Other activities are forthcoming. All pertinent updates and materials will be posted on TAAAC’s website behind the FUNDING tab. Keep current with the campaign to fund our schools at:

    http://www.taaaconline.org/fund-our-schools.html

  • Anne Arundel Board of Education Budget Request/Local Funding

    On Wednesday, February 18, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education unanimously adopted its FY2016 budget request for submission to the County Executive, Steve Schuh. Before doing so, the Board added an additional $2.8 million to the compensation placeholder left in the budget proposed by the Superintendent. The increase left the placeholder at a level sufficient to cover step increases for employees. While the precise use of the new dollars still needs to be determined at the negotiations table, and whether it will be sufficient to generate a tentative agreement is still uncertain; it is very certain that a cut to the Board’s budget request will likely cause further increases in class sizes, student loads, total workload, and prevent positive bargaining outcomes from becoming reality.

    County Executive Schuh will have the Board’s budget request on his desk until May 1st, when he will present it to the County Council. While public hearings on the budget are mandatory when it’s in Coucil hands, there are no public hearings during the two months that the budget spends with the County Executive. Opportunity for input requires direct contact.

    To encourage the County Executive to fund the Board’s budget request, educators should contact Mr. Schuh by phone, email, letter or postcard. His information is provided below:

  • STEVE SCHUH

    Anne Arundel County Executive
    44 Calvert Street
    Annapolis, Maryland 21404
    410-222-1821
    EMAIL
  • Fund Our Schools postcards are being distributed in the schools and worksites for those who prefer paper over electronics.

    Please continue to check this website for on-going information.

  • community coalition logos
State Funding Matters Too
On Monday, march 9 at 6pm

Stand up for public Education

What, here?

Yes, Maryland's great public schools are under attack.

Say no to
  • Gov. Hogan's deep funding cuts to Maryland public education.
  • Gov. Hogan's Charter Expansion bill, which would undermine our charter schools by removing essential oversight, lowering the quality of education and restricting teachers' voice.
  • The rising cost of higher education in Maryland.

Details
  • WHEN: Monday, March 9th, 2015 at 6pm.
  • WHERE: Maryland House of Delegates, Annapolis (6 Bladen St., meet 1st floor canteen)
  • BY BUS: Bus transportation will be provided from Baltimore and other areas.
  • BUS CONTACT AND INFO: Todd or Angie ar AFT-Maryland at (410) 764-3030 to hold a seat on a bus

WRITE

To write to your state representative, visit: DontShortchangeMaryland.com

TWEET

To tweet to your state representatives, visit: http://marylandeducators.org/tweet-your-legislator#dontshortchangemd