New Teacher and Principal Evaluation Tools Drafted

December 26, 2012, was the deadline for local education agencies to submit draft evaluation tool that comply with new state  regulations adopted the meet eligibility for the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top program/experiment.

Posted HERE is a copy of the packet submitted by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, along with the requisite cover letter.

BUDGET, NEGOTIATIONS, LONG-TERM CARE: DECEMBER 20, 2012
BUDGET

The Superintendent presented his recommended budget this evening before a full house, including a delegation of TAAAC leadership.   The total recommended operating budget was $1,013,884,000.  Yes, it broke the billion mark with a $31,741,200 increase over last year (including the Special Revenue Fund which is untouchable to us).  While breaking the “B” line might draw some public commentary, it was really only a 3.1% increase.  A few items were important enough to note immediately in that they have some impact on what’s happening at the bargaining table.  They include the recommended level of County funding, required maintenance of effort (MOE), projected amounts of state aid, and the size of the “placeholder” included in anticipation of contract settlements with AEL, SAAAAC, AFSCME, and of course, TAAAC, along with something for the unrepresented units.  Here is the summary of how those items fared:

County Funding:  The operating budget depends on $21.7 million in new funding from the County Executive and Council.

MOE: The minimum lawful level of County Funding is $11.9 million, from which $3.1 will go to pay the County’s share of teacher retirement expense, leaving a net of about $8.8 million.

State Aid: Aid from the State is anticipated to be $11.8 million.

The Placeholder: Set aside for use in negotiations was $16.6 million. (There are more than 10,000 employees.)

There are two budget hearings scheduled.  The first is on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at Old Mill High School at 7:00PM.  The second is on Thursday, January 10, in the AACPS Central Office Boardroom.  Please plan on attending at least one of those hearings, and feel free to sign-up and speak. It would be helpful to the Board to hear how the past four years have affected you, your students, or your school.  TAAAC’s Vice President, Ken Baughman will be speaking at Old Mill.  President Richard Benfer will give testimony at the Central Office.

NEGOTIATIONS

Bargaining continues in the morning following this writing.  We also recently scheduled additional dates in January and February.  It remains our objective to either have an early settlement on compensation or to hit the threshold where we know one can’t be reached.  We have not lost our way. We are still concentrating on compensation. We are not close.

When/if we find enough common ground to settle.  It is without question that we will be asking members to help convince the County Executive and Council to fund the settlement with emails, phone calls or testimony.  There is a gap of nearly $10 million between the level of funding necessary and the minimum level that the County must lawfully provide. We could be heading for yet another interesting spring.

LONG TERM CARE

Join former colleague, Michael Markowitz for a webinar on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at either 10 a.m., 2 p.m., or 7 p.m., to learn about your TAAAC-sponsored Long-Term Care Insurance program. This will be an opportunity to learn long-term care can have on your financial future and how long-term care insurance can help protect that future.

You will discover not only what long-term care insurance is, but also what triggers the benefits and how a policy is put together. Although premium cost for specific individuals cannot be discussed, there will be general examples of the cost of a policy.

This 30 to 45 minute webinar will be given by a long-term care specialist. You will be able to see the PowerPoint program on your computer and will be able to hear and join the presentation over your phone. You will not have to download anything to your computer.

To be part of this webinar, RSVP to mike.markowitz@ltcfp.net.

Give your name and your email; preferably a private, not school email.

Indicate what time, 10am, 2pm, or 7pm, that you prefer.

You will then receive a reply giving you a link to click on to access the PowerPoint, and a phone number to access the conference call.