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Parents express the need for more safety and teachers at school board meeting

June 15 is last day for Baltimore County Schools
Posted at 10:24 PM, Jan 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 23:15:19-05

BALTIMORE COUNTY — The Baltimore County School Board is working to finalize its next fiscal budget and Tuesday night they heard concerns from the public.

Baltimore County Superintendent Darryl Williams presented a $2.59 billion budget for the 2024 school year during the January 10 meeting of the Board of Education.

A budget that is $226 million more than the operating budget for this year.

The public had until Tuesday to review it and voice any concerns.

But when it came to the public giving input on where these funds are being distributed, only six people showed up.

"Um, part of the issue is, I don't even know all of the concerns yet because we haven't had enough time to look at it. It was presented last week, it was a holiday weekend. As a parent and teacher we have report cards due this week so there was a lot going on,” said Erica Mah, a Baltimore County teacher and parent.

Mah is one of the few people who stood before the board. Although she didn't have time to review the whole 392 page proposed operating budget, she says she does feel hiring more teachers needs to be a priority.

"There are cuts to salaries for teachers is my understanding from the budget and that just doesn't make sense right now. Our students need more, they need more teachers. Not fewer right now,” said Mah.

That wasn't the only concern brought up during the meeting.

"We need additional resources and security in those schools who continue to have issues with fights, we know the knife attack last week at BCPS," said Darren Badillo, the Director of the Baltimore County Parent and Student Coalition.

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Badillo was referring to the 15-year-old that was stabbed several times by another student at Lansdowne High School.

He voiced to the board the need for more funding to up security in schools.

“We need an all hands on deck approach. A child almost died last week. What's it going to take for real change to happen,” said Badillo.

The board is scheduled to adopt the 2024 budget at the February 28th meeting.