Comments to the Board Sep 2023

September 26, 2023

Good evening, Chairwoman Mrs. Lichter, Vice Chair Mrs. Harvey, Superintendent Dr. Rogers, and members of the board.

Thank you for letting me speak on behalf of CASE.

Contract Negotiations

This month BCPS and CASE began contract negotiations and budget conversations.

CASE’s priorities for negotiations remain firm. We ask for fair pay that addresses experience and inflation and general increases in what it costs to have appropriate food and housing. Experience is recognized through step increases. Combating inflation and the increases in basic consumer costs happens through a Cost-of-Living Adjustment.

Last week as part of the monthly union update meeting with Dr. Rogers and her staff, I asked for greater communication and transparency with the board, the county executive, and county council. Dr. Rogers spoke of regular, open communication with Baltimore County government, and I am encouraged by that.

You’ve heard me speak about this before. It is disappointing at best when the unions spend a year negotiating the terms of the contract and making suggestions for the budget only to find out that the county executive and the county council were not supportive of the ask. We need feedback and information on the state of the budget during the development of both the contracts and the budget. That would mean the unions need quarterly meetings with BCPS staff, the board, and Baltimore County government.


CASE’s priorities for the budget also remain firm. The staffing shortage remains the greatest stressor for teachers and administrators and staff. Please focus your budget discussions on strategies that address the staffing shortage. Strategies that address the staffing shortage naturally address hiring, retention, culture, and morale.

In the past I’ve spoken about the need for more resources in special education. We need to continue to try and staff elementary schools with IEP facilitators. The work-life balance of most assistant principals is non-existent. Assistant principals should be focused on instruction and student performance so there is a pipeline of people ready to lead schools. But assistant principals spend much of their time addressing student behavior, transportation, testing, and after school activities.

We need staffing strategies that support administrators with tasks not related to instruction so they can concentrate on being instructional leaders. Research tells us that teachers stay when they feel supported. We need to make sure administrators have the time and expertise to support.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of CASE.

—Billy Burke, Executive Director