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Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent defends 2025 budget amid cuts

Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent defends 2025 budget amid cuts
Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent defends 2025 budget amid cuts 01:58

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Myriam Rogers defended her 2025 budget Thursday, as it now makes its way to county leaders.

Baltimore County's Board of Education passed the more than two and a half billion dollar budget Tuesday, which comes with cuts.

About 500 Baltimore County schools positions are on the chopping block from next year's proposed budget, many of which, officials say, are currently vacant.

"We can't focus on academic achievement without people," Rogers said.

Rogers said Tuesday that the budget focuses on recruitment and retention, highlighting the compensation agreements with five employee unions.

Teacher union president Cindy Sexton admits she doesn't love the budget. But, she says she recognizes funding challenges brought forth by pandemic-era money expiring and changes in how state funds are allocated through the "Blueprint for Maryland's Future."

"We needed to take one year to right-size it and essentially tighten our belts," Cindy Sexton, TABCO President said.

Dr. Rogers says the district's focus will be to strategically hire at a job fair next month.

"Our ultimate goal is to make sure our students are learning at high levels, and we have to take care of our adults to do that," Rogers said.

Tuesday's board meeting saw some opposition and concern from board members about class sizes and staff reassignments.

"There's going to be a large group of them-there's not going to be a few-there's going to be a large group of them. How are they going to be placed over the summer?," Rod McMillion of the Baltimore County School Board said.

The superintendent said reassigned teachers will be placed according to student certification. Average class sizes are expected to increase in middle and high schools, but decrease in select elementary school grades.

"Grade 3, being the most important that students are reading at or above grade level-that has been proven time and time again to be an indicator of success; and, then Grade 5, that students are being able to perform efficiently in the state assessments in mathematics and reading," Rogers said.

In keeping with the superintendent's focus on learning development, she touts increases in preschool and pre-K classrooms in her budget. The county executive and county council are next up to review the budget.

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