Friday, March 18, 2011

Baltimore County Public Schools: A Study in Bureaucratic Arrogance and Corruption

Troubled Times: Woodlawn High School Plagued with Urban Decay
The time has come for county residents to take their schools back -- no matter what it takes!!!!

TABCO, the Teachers’ Association of Baltimore County, is engaged in a media blitz concerned proposed severe cutbacks at Baltimore County high schools. No administrative positions are being cut despite 11 positions being added to the Superintendent’s staff in the past three years, for what? While the county faces huge staffing cuts estimated to be around $12 million dollars, the Board proposes an expenditure of $6.1 in technology improvements.

Here is the Baltimore Sun’s reporting on proposed cuts to Baltimore County High Schools:,0,3905316.story

Baltimore County Public Schools consists of 161 schools, 4 vocational/technical high schools, 20 high schools, 26 middle schools, 107 elementary schools, and 4 special education schools.

For anyone who believes teachers are paid too much, examine the 10 month teachers’ pay scale. For the advanced degrees, teachers do not actually have to obtain a master’s or doctorate for such pay scales, they simply need the necessary number of approved credits.

Selective salaries: (compensation based on seniority plus graduate credit, performance not applicable)
1- starting teacher, bachelors degree…… $43,000
2- 5th year teacher, bachelors degree…… $45,538
3- 5th year teacher, masters degree……... $47,061
4- 10th year teacher, masters degree……. $55,033
5- 10th year teacher, masters +30 credits...$57,634
6- 15th year teacher, masters degree……..$63,792
7- 15th year teacher, masters +30 credits...$66,807
8- 15th year teacher, masters +60 credits...$68,540
9-  20th year teacher, masters +30 credits…$72,861
10- 20th year teacher, masters +60 credits…$74,751
11- 20th year teacher, masters +90 credits…$76,395
12- 25th year teacher, masters +60 credits…$80,528

Principals are paid as follows as published by Baltimore County Public Schools:

Elementary: $95,653 - $139,283
Middle School: $101,391- $147,640
High School: $107,475 - $156,499

Assistant Principals are paid:

Elementary: $80,342 - $116,976
Middle School: $85,150 - $123,983
High School: $90,249 - $131,410

We attempted to document what central office administrators are paid at Greenwood, most of those salaries are CLASSIFED!!! All public school positions, their compensation, and benefits should be posted on the Internet. Furthermore, their entire budget should be audited and published. They forget who they truly serve.


That amount is equal to more than FIVE starting teachers, FOUR experienced teachers, or three long serving teachers with substantial graduate credits earned.


You know up front that response will never be forthcoming, because they don’t know what we already know – the answer is NOTHING!!!

The administrative cost per pupil in Baltimore County, according to the Baltimore Sun, is $330.00 per student. It’s only $200.00 per student in Carroll County. That same article documents that Baltimore County schools has 23 officials in Central Office leadership, significantly the highest in the state. Baltimore City has 18 such officials and Montgomery County, the largest system in the state has 17. Considering Baltimore County has over 103,000 students, Baltimore City – 83,800 student, and Montgomery has more than 141,720, this makes Baltimore County’s all the more onerous when we recognize upfront that few would argue Baltimore City is widely seen as one of the worst, poorly run, dreadfully bureaucratic systems in the United States. From an administrative standpoint, that shows 1 bureaucrat per 4,478 students in the county, 4656 in the city and 8,337 in Montgomery County. Montgomery County is the state’s wealthiest school system. Does anyone smell a rat? Does that rat resemble Joe Hairston?

REFERENCE ARTICLE:,0,1998922.story

The Central bureaucracy consists of 69 listed departments while the Superintendent’s office consists of 24 staff positions including the superintendent. That number apparently includes the eleven reported added by the Baltimore Sun.

DO THE MATH!!! That’s for every 2.33 schools, there is one bureaucratic office. Those offices are listed below. Further, the image shown at the beginning of this posting shows all the organizational charts showing the central office’s bureaucratic levels and staff within each office.

Per Pupil Spending
(Source: Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County)

Baltimore County……$12,236
Baltimore City……… $14,302
Montgomery County...$14,969

Private School Tuition
(Source: Private School Review)
Calvert Hall…………………..$11,300 (Catholic)
Notre Dame Prep……………. $12,225 (Catholic)
Friends School of Baltimore.... $21,650
Loyola Blakefield………….....$15,520 (plus $715 fees) (Catholic)
St. Paul’s, Brooklandville...…..$19,750

Think of what a voucher program would do for Baltimore County families, if granted at the same amount as what the municipality’s per student cost is. At very least, private school families should get a full tax credit for the amount of tuition and related expenses paid to attend non-public schools.

Here are more stats on Baltimore County. Some are quite disturbing.

 27th largest school system nationwide, 3rd largest in Maryland.
 $1.4 billion budget, FY 2011
 104,331 students, 54.1% minority
 39% students eligible for reduced priced meals
 3.5% English language “learners” – Maryland is sanctuary for illegals.
 17,000 school system employees
 8,850 teachers
 8,150 non-teaching positions

The following is a list of Baltimore County Public School offices that have their own websites:

Accounting & Financial Reporting Office
Alternative Education, Dropout Prevention and Summer School
Assistive Technology
AVID\College Board
Budget and Reporting
Business Education
Business Services
Career and Technology Education
Curriculum and Instruction
Dance Education
Distribution & Print Services
Education Channel
Equal Employment Opportunity, Office of
Equity & Assurance
Family and Consumer Sciences
Fiscal Services
Food and Nutrition Services
Gifted and Talented Education and Magnet Programs
Health Education
Health Services
Human Resources
Instructional Technology
Internal Audit
Investigations & Records Management
Language Arts, Elementary
Language Arts, Secondary
Library Information Services
Magnet Programs
Mathematics, PreK-12
Music, Office of
Payroll Office
Physical Education
Physical Facilities
Planning and Support Operations
Professional Development
Psychological Services
Pupil Personnel Office
Research, Accountability, and Assessment
Risk Management
Safe & Drug-Free Schools
School Counseling
School To Career Transition
Science PreK-12
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
Social Studies, Elementary
Social Studies, Secondary
Special Education
Special Programs, PreK-12
Staff Relations
Strategic Planning, Office of
Student Support Services
Technical Programs
Technology Education
Technology Support Services
Third Party Billing Office
Title I
Transportation, Office of
Visual Arts
World Languages

How can anyone look at the list above and not see duplication and lots of questionable and unneeded bureaucratic posts? These departments are located in various locations around Baltimore County.

Baltimore County Schools have been in decline for the past thirty years but now appear to be in free fall. With a politically appointed board appointed by the governor whose top education aid is the former President of the Maryland State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, their loyalty is not to those who fund their creations, the taxpayers of Baltimore County. Not since the administration of Governor Harry Hughes in the early 80’s has community input played a decisive role in selecting board members, and only during the single term of Robert Ehrlich was fiscal responsibility ever a consideration. That Superintendent is arrogant enough to provide a multimillion dollar software contract on a no-bid basis to a former colleague when serving as superintendent of a Suburban Atlanta school system would appear to be just the tip of the iceberg of corrupt and arrogant school system.

The time is long past due for citizens’ revolt in Baltimore County demanding an elected school board and a total overhaul of the Greenwood bureaucracy. Meanwhile, budget decisions are approved by the Baltimore County Executive and County Council who must GUT the administration budget. Open public hearings must be held forcing the board to justify their staffing and expenditures. Cost savings not proven essential to the classroom must be returned to the tax payer.

Parents who can afford private or parochial schools should send their kids to private school. Realize a child only has one chance in his or her life to get a quality education. That wonderful opportunity is being squandered by a school system brimming with greed, incompetence, and arrogance.

There can be no letting up on the system. They must be kept under siege until the whole system is completely reengineered and restructured. Baltimore County children deserve much better.


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