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St. Mary's County Public Schools, Maryland

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St. Mary's County Public Schools
Leonardtown, Maryland
St Mary County Public Schools logo.JPG
District Profile
Superintendent:Michael Martirano
Enrollment:17,453[1]
Graduation rate:91.5 percent[2]
Number of schools:28
Budget: $189.1 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Salvatore Raspa
Board members:5
Term length:4
St. Mary's County Public Schools is a school district in Maryland that served 17,453 K-12 students during the 2013-2014 school year.[1] The district's graduation rate jumped from 82.7 percent during the 2009-2010 school year to 91.5 percent during the 2012-2013 school year.[2]

About the district

St. Mary's County Public Schools is located in St. Mary's County, Maryland
St. Mary's County Public Schools is based in Leonardtown, the county seat of St. Mary's County, Maryland. St. Mary's County is home to 109,633 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[3] St. Mary's County Public Schools is the 12th-largest school district in Maryland.

Demographics

St. Mary's County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Maryland in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 28.4 percent of St. Mary's County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3 percent for Maryland as a whole. The median household income in St. Mary's County was $85,032 compared to $72,999 for the state of Maryland. The poverty rate in St. Mary's County was 7.1 percent compared to 9.4 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2012[3]
Race St. Mary's County (%) Maryland (%)
White 79.5 60.8
Black or African American 14.3 30.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.5
Asian 2.7 6.0
Two or More Races 3.0 2.5
Hispanic or Latino 4.3 8.7

Party registration, 2014[4]
Party Number of registered voters
Republican 25,418
Democratic 25,016
Unaffiliated 12,559
Other 443
Libertarian 286
Green 134
Total 63,856

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[5]

Superintendent

The superintendent of St. Mary's County Public Schools is Michael Martirano, as of June 17, 2014. He has served in the position since his appointment in 2005. Martirano previously served as the school administration director for Howard County Public Schools. He was reappointed to a third four-year term by the school board in 2013.[6]

School board

The St. Mary's County Board of Education consists of five members elected to four-year terms. Four members are elected to specific districts while one at-large member represents the entire county.

St. Mary's County Board of Education
Member District Term Ends
Salvatore Raspa 1 2014
Cathy Allen 2 2016
Brooke Matthews 3 2014
Mary M. Washington 4 2016
Marilyn A. Crosby At-large 2016

School board elections

See also: St. Mary's County Public Schools elections (2014)

Members of the board are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Two seats are on the ballot on November 4, 2014. Three seats will be up for election in 2016.

Public participation in board meetings

The board maintains the following policy regarding public participation in board meetings:

The Board welcomes public input on policies and issues affecting our schools. The Board takes this time to listen and consider, but not to comment. This is not, however, the appropriate forum for negative comments or criticisms of individual staff or students. Concerns about individual staff members that cannot be resolved at the level closest to the situation should be directed to the Superintendent. This Board will not permit comments criticizing individual staff or students since this is outside the scope of public comment.

Additionally, the Board sits as an appellate body in both student and employee appeals. The Board cannot comment on or have prior knowledge of a case that would influence their ability to deliberate. To maintain the ability of the Board to render a fair and unbiased decision, comments regarding individual student or personnel issues cannot be presented at public comment.

Speakers must sign in at the beginning of the meeting. Public comment is limited to 3 minutes per speaker and speakers may not yield their time to someone else. The Board encourages speakers to present written statements to the Board secretary who will distribute copies to all Board members.

[7]

—St. Mary's County Public Schools website, (2014), [8]

Budget

St. Mary's County Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.[9]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2012-2013 $87,370,495 47.6% $19,717,847 10.7% $75,224,407 41% $0 0% $722,585 0.4% $183,512,688
2013-2014 $89,949,390 47.5% $20,388,552 10.8% $78,133,709 41.3% $0 0% $727,181 0.4% $189,198,832
Averages: $88,659,942.5 48% $20,053,199.5 11% $76,679,058 41% $0 0% $724,883 0% $186,355,760

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries at St. Mary's County Public Schools are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate degrees. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table lists salaries for district teachers during the 2013-2014 school year:[10]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
Provisional certificate 40,278 51,546
Standard professional certificate 44,678 62,993
MA 47,149 77,151
MA + 15 48,394 80,505
MA + 30 49,629 82,829
MA + 45 50,873 86,283
Ph.D. 53,373 88,783

Unions

Teachers in St. Mary's County Public Schools are represented during negotiations by the Education Association of St. Mary's County (EASMC). The president of the EASMC is Anna Laughlin, as of June 17, 2014.[11]

Schools in St. Mary's County Public Schools

Enrollment

The district served 17,453 K-12 students during the 2013-2014 school year. The district experienced a 4.2 percent increase in enrollment between 2009 and 2013. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2009 and 2013:[1]

Total enrollment
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2009 16,752 -
2010 17,186 2.6
2011 17,271 0.5
2012 17,449 1.1
2013 17,453 -

District schools

St. Mary's County Public Schools operates 28 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[12]

St. Mary's County Public Schools
Banneker Elementary School
Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary School
Career and Tech Center
Chesapeake Public Charter School
Chopticon High School
Dynard Elementary School
Esperanza Middle School
Evergreen Elementary School
Fairlead High School
George W. Carver Elementary School
Great Mills High School
Green Holly Elementary School
Greenview Knolls Elementary School
Hollywood Elementary School
Leonardtown Elementary School
Leonardtown High School
Leonardtown Middle School
Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School
Lexington Park Elementary School
Margaret Brent Middle School
Mechanicsville Elementary School
Oakville Elementary School
Park Hall Elementary School
Piney Point Elementary School
Ridge Elementary School
Spring Ridge Middle School
Town Creek Elementary School
White Marsh Elementary School

Academic performance

The Maryland State Department of Education conducts the Maryland Standard Assessment (MSA) each spring for students in grades three through eight. This test determines proficiency levels in reading and math. The MSA also assesses proficiency in science among students in grades five and eight. Proficiency levels in algebra, biology and English at the high-school level are determined by the Maryland High School Assessment (MHSA). Student performance is broken down into three categories: basic proficiency, proficiency and advanced proficiency. The following tables display the MSA and MHSA results for district students during the 2012-2013 school year:[13]

MSA Scores, 2012-2013[13]
Grade Subject Basic proficiency (%) Proficiency (%) Advanced proficiency (%)
3 Math 13.3 47.5 39.2
3 Reading 15.9 60.3 23.8
4 Math 6.5 33.6 59.9
4 Reading 10.7 58.2 31.1
5 Math 13.5 52.6 33.9
5 Reading 10.6 31.4 57.9
5 Science 25.5 60.4 14.1
6 Math 13.5 41.3 45.2
6 Reading 15.9 38.1 46.0
7 Math 22.7 50.2 27.0
7 Reading 16.8 36.9 46.4
8 Math 23.8 39.9 36.3
8 Reading 19.7 34.1 46.2
8 Science 21.0 68.4 10.6

MHSA Scores, 2012-2013[13]
Grade Subject Basic proficiency (%) Proficiency (%) Advanced proficiency (%)
High school Algebra 7.2 54.3 38.5
High school Biology 9.6 57.8 32.5
High school English 15.9 52.1 32.0

Issues

Tensions over budget deficit

Superintendent Michael Martirano and school board members faced scrutiny from the St. Mary's County Commission over $6 million in uncovered insurance costs for the 2013-2014 school year. The district budgeted $16.8 million for employee health insurance in the current budget. A high number of insurance claims by district employees could cost the district up to $6.5 million more than the budgeted amount when the current budget ends in June 2014. Martirano also noted that the district faces an additional $1.25 million in expenses due to high utility costs and special education contractors.[14]

District officials and board members developed three options to address the budget shortfall. The county commission could have allowed the school board to transfer savings from hiring freezes and cuts to repay unexpected costs. Other proposals would have required up to $3.7 million in additional funds or loans from the county government. Commissioners reacted negatively to the district's proposal during a county commission meeting on April 28, 2014. Commissioner Todd Morgan accused district administrators of using "smoke and mirrors" in the budget and recommended that the county not issue more funds to the district.[14]

Board members provided several explanations when questioned by Morgan about choices made in the 2013-2014 budget. Cathy Allen noted that the district's insurance provider, Care First, recommended policy changes that were followed by the board. School board chair Salvatore Raspa reiterated the high number of claims in defending the board's past actions. Mary Washington recognized that the board made mistakes when developing the last budget but suggested that the board had not failed in the past to maintain budget discipline. Brooke Matthews pointed out that changes to insurance policies were designed to stretch limited funds further for district schools.[14]

Tammy McCourt, the assistant superintendent of fiscal services and human services, discovered the budget shortfall after assuming the job in early 2014. She acknowledged that the district will need to negotiate with the teachers' union for higher insurance premiums and co-pays to avoid future budget shortfalls.[14]

The school board's final request from the county commission totaled $782,000. The county board voted not to increase funds to the district's 2014-2015 budget during a May 13, 2014 meeting.[15] Board members proposed a 2014-2015 budget that cuts 35 jobs, raises insurance premiums and eliminates pay raises. This proposal would eliminate the budget deficit, increase the insurance budget and create a reserve for unanticipated expenses. The board also requested a supplemental appropriation from the county to restore employee raises. The county commission rejected the supplemental budget request and approved the board's amended budget request during a May 27, 2014 meeting. Both boards will meet again in August 2014 to assess remaining costs from the previous school year.[16][17]

Contact information

St Mary County Public Schools logo.JPG
St. Mary's County Public Schools
23160 Moakley St.
Leonardtown, MD 20650
Phone: (301) 475-5511

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Maryland State Department of Education, "2013 Maryland Report Card: Enrollment," accessed June 17, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Maryland State Department of Education, "2013 Maryland Report Card: 4-Year Adjusted Cohort," accessed June 17, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "St. Mary's County, Maryland," accessed May 6, 2014
  4. Maryland State Board of Elections, "Voter Registration Activity Report," March 2014
  5. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  6. St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Our Superintendent," accessed June 17, 2014
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Public Comment Statement," accessed June 17, 2014
  9. St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Board of Education Approved Operating and Capital Budgets FY 2014," accessed November 25, 2013
  10. St. Mary's County Public Schools, "2013-2014 Salary Schedules," accessed June 17, 2014
  11. Education Association of St. Mary's County, "Board of Directors," accessed June 17, 2014
  12. St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Our Schools," accessed June 17, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Maryland State Department of Education, "2013 Maryland Report Card: St. Mary's County," accessed June 17, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Southern Maryland Online News, "Commissioners berate St. Mary’s school board for deficit," April 30, 2014
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named county
  16. Southern Maryland News Online, "Raises, 35 jobs cut from St. Mary’s school budget," May 16, 2014
  17. Southern Maryland News Online, "No raises funded for St. Mary’s school employees," May 28, 2014