Good evening, Chairwoman Mrs. Lichter, Vice-chair Mrs. Harvey, Superintendent Dr. Williams, and Members of the Board,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you on behalf of the members of CASE.
In its simplest terms your role as school board members is to ensure that the students of Baltimore County Public Schools are prepared to live, work, and compete in a global world. You do that in 3 important ways: You hire the superintendent; you provide governance for policies aligned to the vision and mission of the school system and community members; and you provide governance for the budget by approving the proposed budget and monitoring expenditures through the contract process.
I still believe the process for creating and approving the budget with you and the county executive and county council is convoluted, but that speech is for another night.
Tonight, you will hear the superintendent’s proposed budget. Not everything can be accomplished in one budget year. It’s important to have a clear, phased approach that allows you to react to new state and federal mandates and includes improving buildings and infrastructure, as well as the implementation of new curriculum.
The goal of the budget is to improve academic performance for all students. The goal of the budget is to remove predictable barriers that impact students because of their race, poverty level, ability to speak English, and participation in special education services. There are many priorities that compete for the budget. It will be important for you to understand short-term and long-term plans for implementing those priorities.
The budget priorities for CASE remain constant:
- Fair compensation and benefits, while maintaining work–life balance.
- Professional development based on research and evidence-based practices that improve leadership, instruction, and student behavior.
- Processes that are communicated, efficient, and transparent for managing human resources, payroll, and employee and retiree services.
- A plan for addressing the staffing crisis that includes recruitment, retention, and operating within available resources and innovating new ways of providing access.
- Prioritizing staffing for students receiving special education services and historically underserved and underperforming communities.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of CASE.
Billy Burke, Executive Director