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'I was thinking about quitting tonight': Teachers want higher pay at BOE forum

Posted at 11:16 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 23:16:53-04

BALTIMORE COUNTY — Baltimore County teachers and leaders gathered in this Board of Education building Tuesday evening to express the need for higher pay.

Time ticks as each teacher was given three minutes to present their urgency of higher pay to be approved for Baltimore County School teachers.

"This is my 6th year of teaching and like Christene last year, I was seriously thinking about quitting tonight. I come to you as someone who stuck it out to talk about our staffing crisis," said one person.

"During the school week, we lose between three and four hours of duty day planning. It is week three and I have spent more than 30 hours outside of school planning and grading," said one person.

"I need you to fully fund the negotiated contract, BCPS has hundreds of open positions. We're pulling people from central office, we're pulling people from other positions to fill these positions and there is still open positions," said one person.

School is back in session and Baltimore County Public School, teachers say they are still understaffed and underpaid. Tonight, they showed up at the board of education meeting of Baltimore County presenting a letter signed by over 3,000 employees.

The letter is asking for the board, the county executive, and the union to approve funding for an agreed upon five year salary deal.

"Well the five year plan is really to compress our salary scale into 25 steps, right now Baltimore County is 9th in the state for career earnings and this will significantly move us in a better position," said one person.

The tentative agreement on a salary adjustment was reached in July between educators and Baltimore County Public Schools and is scheduled to go into effect in January, but the finalization on funding has been delayed.

"The board presented a plan for the funding and the county executive said it used too much one time funding and he directed the board of education to find a sustainable funding source, and we're just waiting on all those pieces to fit together," said Cindy Sexton, President of the Teacher Association of Baltimore County.

Sexton says with approval, teachers will see about a 16% increase in pay over the five year plan.

She says there is concern that teachers will move to other schools outside the county for higher pay, as teaching is now going beyond every day classroom work.

"We had more than 1,000 educators resign or retire last year that's more than 10% of our teaching staff we can not do that again," said Sexton.

Over 350 teaching positions still need to be filled in Baltimore County.