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Kamenetz Tells State Legislators Saving Teacher Positions 'Not Possible'

Letter outlines budgetary difficulties. Also: legislators plan to meet with media after superintendent's meeting,and Patch talks deer hunting and private breakfast meetings with WBAL radio.

State legislators who have asked to save nearly 200 teaching positions have their answer—and it's not the one they were hoping to hear.

Kamenetz, in a letter released today, cited budgetary constraints and cuts in state aid to the county as the primary factors why the positions cannot be restored.

"Unfortunately, while I am appreciative of the efforts of our delegation to increase education funding, restoring the teacher/student ratio positions at the same level as last year's budget does not appear possible at this time," Kamenetz wrote.

Last week, more than a dozen legislators sent the county executive a letter asking him to find the money to that are expected to be eliminated as part of the Baltimore County Public Schools proposed budget for next year.

The proposed school system budget will be part of Kamenetz's first budget as county executive. He is scheduled to present that budget to the County Council next week.

In an interview last week, Kamenetz told Patch he would need nearly $16 million to restore the teaching positions. Cuts in state aid to the county and new costs the state is passing on to the county make it impossible to find the needed funds.

In his letter to legislators, Kamenetz said that figure jumps to $24.8 million when the county adds in additional costs related to fully funding health care in the board of education budget.

The county executive made the exact same arguments in his letter today to legislators.

Del. Steve Lafferty, vice chairman of the county House delegation, said he had not seen Kamenetz's letter when asked about it by a reporter.

The Towson Democrat said the county executive had gone over all of the budget numbers with him during a meeting last week.

Lafferty said that while he understands "that the county has taken an overall cut" he still hoped that Kamenetz would look for ways to restore the teaching positions.

One suggestion Lafferty offered was to move money within the school system's proposed budget to fund the positions.

"I'm not sure he can compel the superintendent to spend the money in the way he wants, but I think it's an important message to send," Lafferty said.

Next best thing to being there

Del. John A. Olszewski Jr. and Sen. Kathy Klausmeier have scheduled a 10:30 a.m. meeting with the media Friday to discuss their with Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston.

The chairs of the House and Senate delegations are scheduled to hold a private breakfast meeting with Hairston to discuss concerns about the hiring of new Deputy Superintendent Renee Foose, her reported $214,000 salary and the schools system's handling of the issue with the media—particularly its requested by Patch 28 days ago.

Hairston, in a recent interview on WBAL radio, said criticisms leveled against him were .

Olszewski and Klausmeier . Both said they had hoped it would be in public during a joint meeting of the House and Senate delegations. Klausmeier said Hairston agreed to meet on the condition that it be only with them and that it was not open to the public.

Patch on the Air

Although actress Ashley Judd told WBAL radio's Bill Vanko this morning that she is "abstinent of all press and media," luckily enough for the jilted news anchor, Patch is very media friendly. Listen to Vanko and I talk about county politics with Vanko, including and, of course, .

Richard April 11, 2011 at 01:01 AM
Does it matter? They always endorse the Democrat anyway, knife in the back or not.
Matt April 11, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Robert, I couldn’t agree with you more! Buzz's arguments are constantly flawed. He believes that one thing, must be the one and only explanation for another, i.e. illegal’s have pushed down the education system in California. There couldn’t be any other explanation, could there Buzz? You seem to fit this flawed argument into almost every debate. I'm glad I am not the only one who believes his arguments are completely crazy!
Isadore J. L. April 11, 2011 at 04:55 PM
It is all about perspective, and what options are affordable, if you attended public or private school or if your kids attend public or private. Should class size double if you attend public? maybe. Should it more than double? well maybe or maybe not, It is all perspective. I hope Kevin seeks out alternatives for how cuts are to be made, that listen the impact on class size. He will need those public school parents come election time, see his comments regards his own education, per the sun. ""During his opening statement, Kamenetz incorrectly stated where he went to high school. For purposes of context, here is the beginning portion of Kamenetz’s opening statement: “Folks, you know me. I was born on Liberty Road, I’m a proud graduate of Randallstown High School. I grew up in Lochearn. I served 16 years now as a councilman for the west side. I’m proud to have served eight of those 16 years as your councilman.” The comment has drawn attention from people who attended the debate or heard about it. There have been several comments left on this blog and on the story about Wednesday night’s debate. Kamenetz is graduate of Gilman — a fact stated both on his official council biography and his campaign website. Kamenetz failed to correct the mistake during the 90-minute debate but answered questions about it afterward. “It was a simple mistake,” Kamenetz said. “I don’t know why I said it. I meant to say I graduated from Campfield.""
Buzz Beeler April 11, 2011 at 04:55 PM
I count two people. That is hardly a mandate or a majority based on the number of people who comment on this site. If my memory serves me right, there are many more that take issue with your tactics, language and hiding in the shadows. If you were someone who was not afraid, then I would think you words might carry some weight based on your background. Google my name. I lay all my cards on the table. You are very good at using the word flawed, but never back it up with anything of substance. Letters like you posted in your remark to Tiffany only reflect you maturity level. My comments are based on previously published new articles or figures taken from the county's budget site.
Betty Johnson April 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM
I am tired of hearing people who work for the government speak of cutting jobs, cutting programs, etc. The real secret to prosperity for us all is the enormous amount of money taken for government pensions. It just about shut down GM. That is really where we would be saving the most money. I don't hear anyone in the government talking about their pensions. It is almost non-existent in the private sector. The government is not a profit making machine, why are they the only ones getting the pensions? That alone is draining our economy.

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