St. Mary's County Public Schools, Maryland
|St. Mary's County Public Schools|
|Graduation rate:||91.5 percent|
|Number of schools:||28|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Salvatore Raspa|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in St. Mary's County Public Schools
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
About the districtSt. Mary's County, Maryland. St. Mary's County is home to 109,633 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau. St. Mary's County Public Schools is the 12th-largest school district in Maryland.
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.
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 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
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.
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|
|Mary M. Washington||4||2016|
|Marilyn A. Crosby||At-large||2016|
School board elections
Members of the board are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Two seats were 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.
—St. Mary's County Public Schools website, (2014), 
The table below displays the budget for St. Mary's County Public Schools:
|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|
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:
|Degree level||Minimum salary ($)||Maximum salary ($)|
|Standard professional certificate||44,678||62,993|
|MA + 15||48,394||80,505|
|MA + 30||49,629||82,829|
|MA + 45||50,873||86,283|
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.
Schools in St. Mary's County Public Schools
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:
|Year||Enrollment||Year-to-year change (%)|
St. Mary's County Public Schools operates 28 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:
|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|
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
- List of school districts in Maryland
- St. Mary's County Public Schools elections (2014)
- School Board Elections portal
- St. Mary's County Public Schools
- St. Mary's County Board of Elections
- Maryland State Department of Education
- Maryland Association of Boards of Education
- Education Association of St. Mary's County
- Maryland State Department of Education, "2013 Maryland Report Card: Enrollment," accessed June 17, 2014
- Maryland State Department of Education, "2013 Maryland Report Card: 4-Year Adjusted Cohort," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "St. Mary's County, Maryland," accessed May 6, 2014
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "Voter Registration Activity Report," March 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Our Superintendent," accessed June 17, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Public Comment Statement," accessed June 17, 2014
- St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Budget Information," accessed December 11, 2014
- St. Mary's County Public Schools, "2013-2014 Salary Schedules," accessed June 17, 2014 (dead link)
- Education Association of St. Mary's County, "Board of Directors," accessed June 17, 2014
- St. Mary's County Public Schools, "Our Schools," accessed June 17, 2014
- Maryland State Department of Education, "2013 Maryland Report Card: St. Mary's County," accessed June 17, 2014
- Southern Maryland Online News, "Commissioners berate St. Mary’s school board for deficit," April 30, 2014
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- Southern Maryland News Online, "Raises, 35 jobs cut from St. Mary’s school budget," May 16, 2014
- Southern Maryland News Online, "No raises funded for St. Mary’s school employees," May 28, 2014