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Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 06/29/2010

Furloughs, layoffs for Pr. Geo. schools

By Washington Post editors

Class sizes will grow, hundreds of employees will be laid off, while other will be furloughed under the $1.63 billion budget adopted Monday by the Prince George’s County Board of Education.

The budget for fiscal year 2011 institutes a cut of almost five percent from current spending levels. It also includes the largest number of job cuts of any Washington-area school system. Almost 800 positions are being loss, something that will translate into several hundred layoffs after retirements and attrition. Montgomery County schools will lay off just two dozen, by contrast.

The cuts will affect many aspects of school life. Class sizes will expand by two at every level except pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Staff pay is frozen and employees will be furloughed up to nine days. School lunch prices will rise by 50 cents. School bus trips will lengthen and some students may have to take two buses.

The budget is not quite as stark as what was proposed earlier this spring and staff have one less furlough day than was initially expected. Many staff who were going to be converted from 12-month to 10-month employees will work 11 months of the year instead.

--Michael Birnbaum

By Washington Post editors  | June 29, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

Something is wrong here. Kids should come first. Other projects later

Posted by: deyoung | June 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@deyoung

"Something is wrong here. Kids should come first. Other projects later"

We need to get rid of TRIM. It's a major constraint. We have a choice - keep a few hundred dollars per year in our pockets and continue living with substandard schools or change the current situation.

A first-rate school system would attract the businesses and demographics that care about first-rate schools and significantly boost the tax base and quality of life here in the County. It's a no-brainer.


Posted by: ceefer66 | June 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hmm.... Didn't the WaPo just run an article YESTERDAY about the PG school supereintendant and what a 'wonderful ' job he's doing. Oh well, guess that's different than providing the children with an education!

Posted by: lsf07 | June 29, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

As a teacher in the Prince George's County Public Schoo System, it's alarming to me that while Prince George's is cutting 800 jobs, neighboring Montgomery County is only cutting 2 dozen? There's something wrong here when 800 js in education are being lost. What is Montgomery County doing that we are not?

Posted by: poeticfire | June 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@ poeticfire... MoCo Govt is better managing their budgets...

@ceefer66... Eliminating TRIM will not help anything if the money PG currently receives in taxes is mismanaged... Any more money received with the elimination of TRIM will just be MISMANAGED...

Posted by: sxy_750 | June 29, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

sxy_750 wrote:
@ poeticfire... MoCo Govt is better managing their budgets...

@ceefer66... Eliminating TRIM will not help anything if the money PG currently receives in taxes is mismanaged... Any more money received with the elimination of TRIM will just be MISMANAGED...
______________________________
Yes and no. I started my teaching career in PG County in 1976. At the time they had higher salaries than Montgomery and the school system was doing some remarkable things. When TRIM passed, classroom resources started declining each year to the point where parents were bringing in things like paper and basic supplies because we weren't getting what we needed.

In June 1982 the budget for the upcoming school year was actually less than that of the previous year and many of us were RIFFED. The irony there is that teachers still got a 6% pay raise the next year. Fortunately I was able to be hired in Montgomery. My friends who remained in PGCPS told me that getting RIFFED was the best thing to happen to me. They were right. From what I've observed, the school systems are managed differently. In MoCo we've avoided RIFS by making other cuts. Teachers have also voted many times to reduce or fore go pay increases in order to save jobs--though the WaPo never gives us credit for this. I do believe the biggest difference has been TRIM. I remember thinking at the time that MoCo would never be so short sighted as to pass something like that and I was right until last year when the Ficker Amendment was passed. I suspect MoCo will start having these problems over the next few years because when you eliminate the ability to raise revenue at a time of increasing student enrollment, cuts have to be made. Bad economic times don't help. People are much less concerned with the schools and more worried about just keeping their heads above water which is understandable.

Posted by: musiclady | June 29, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

My 2009 home assessment was $370,000.00 and now it is $263,000.00. I received $1300 refund 2 days ago. An identical house sold for $190.000.00, but I said I will help the county and not ask for a re-assessment.
Those who want more home owner taxes from me should move to Fairfax or Montgomery County. I agree, your kids deserve better.

Posted by: AtomAnt | June 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

poeticfire ? What is MoCo doing? We had our taxes raised.

Posted by: CNAWHITE | June 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

PG County's Public Schools' motto at the top their website: Children Come First.

Looks like they'll need to change that. Bwaaaahaaaaaaa

Posted by: checkered1 | June 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought we had it bad in here in Hawaii. We had 17 furlough days last year and parents were outraged. The state raided the hurricane fund to eliminate the furloughs for next year, but now my one district alone is losing 230 positions --- the majority if not all of them special education positions. This is a terrible thing.

Posted by: lanaly | June 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Montgomery Co Board of Ed needs to take some lessons from PG Co Board of Ed on how to reduce their spending. Moco Govt should not let the School Board determine their own school budget by threatening a lawsuit they say would be filed against the county to seek an injunction if the school budget is cut any further.

Posted by: mocores | June 29, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

As a teacher in PG Co, this situation is heartbreaking. Of those 800 positions, we are losing 120 parent liasons, who are sometimes the only way for us to communicate effectively to non-english speaking parents.
I was told my class sizes for next year were to increase SIGNIFICANTLY, so I can tell you that whole bit about them raising class size by 2, is a LOW estimate. My classes last year were already high in number (think 30!) and then increasing it more? It's a total detriment to the kids and parents, and the educational system as a whole.
Good luck PGCPS. We're gonna need it.

Posted by: sungrl155 | June 29, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

PG county has Casa de Maryland, there are thousands of illegal aliens in PG, funded by tax payer dollars. The schools are overcrowded with anchor babies, this is why the schools are overcrowed. Illegals are not paying taxes and the system can't handle any more students, esl classes cost too. Our US children are not getting the education we are paying for. Montgomery Co is not far behind, it will all come out soon. This Sept when you vote, find out if your candidate supports illegals, who supports them? B. Mikulki, O'mally, Johnson, Leggit. vote right to reclaim our country. Our kids are not getting what they deserve.

Posted by: wolfietherat | June 29, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Hite uses his influence to steer contracts and help specific individuals land business at PGCPS. This is wrong and unethical and should investigated. He is Scam, Ripoff, Cold Greedy Man, Evil Hustler, Ripoff Artist, Stealing Taxpayer Money, Evil Administrator, Ruthless Greedy, Stealing from Students, Parents and Teachers, Stealing from Prince georges county, Porn Addict, Inciting Race Wars in the system, Racist, Superiority Complex. The layoff are being done to protect his friends who are crooked.

Posted by: yorkn72 | June 30, 2010 3:32 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Hite uses his influence to steer contracts and help specific individuals land business at PGCPS. This is wrong and unethical and should investigated. He is Scam, Ripoff, Cold Greedy Man, Evil Hustler, Ripoff Artist, Stealing Taxpayer Money, Evil Administrator, Ruthless Greedy, Stealing from Students, Parents and Teachers, Stealing from Prince georges county, Porn Addict, Inciting Race Wars in the system, Racist, Superiority Complex. The layoff are being done in a very unfair manner to protect his friends who have no seniority and are crooks.

Posted by: yorkn72 | June 30, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

If you have don't have good schools, you better get ready to have good police. I think there is overwhelming research that says that a good can directly impact a child's development. PG county residents want to compare themselves with surrounding counties, but those other counties are willing to PAY for schools. If the school system is better...it directly affects the value of your property...think about that.

Posted by: mrmagoo066 | June 30, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Prince Georges school system has been under achieving and continues to do so, how in the world can Montgomery County cut a handfull of Jobs, and we're sitting as though no one workes or pays taxes is PG, I'm a resident, and I'm embarresed by our lack of leadership and our lack of commotment to our children and citizens, everyone of our politicians need to be fired, and out residents in these positions that understand, our children are already behind, crime is off the charts, dropout rate is too high, and jobs are scarce, if anytime we need to make a greater commitment to education is now, I don't claim to have all the answers, however what I do know, is we're failing our youth, Jack Johnson is the worst county executive I've ever seen, and he should be included in the 800 fired, and then move on from there. Nice Job Jack, that's why I took control of my childrens education, because when you were asking for my vote, you said a lot, but at the end of the day, you've been in control for 7-years, and we're worst off, thanks for nothing.

Posted by: pmiller2 | July 1, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I think that PG County Schools are lagging behind in several areas...

Class Size: I think the research is sound with respect to smaller class sizes.

Teacher Pay: They need to be competing with Arlington, Moco, and Fairfax in terms salary.

Enrichment: How many high schools in PG have a dedicated period before or after school where kids can get help and be provided either bus tokens or a school bus to take them home if they want to stay for extra help.

Staff Development: Where they give teachers and opportunity to be AP trained, IB trained (if they have an IB programme), travel to conferences, etc.

Notice I did not include out of school factors. Even though they are important in a child's development...you still have to attempt to teach whomever walks through those doors.

Posted by: mrmagoo066 | July 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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