Please attend the March 10 PTSA meeting to vote on our PTSA president, Caroline Bodziak, presenting this testimony before the County Executive on March 12 in support of the HCPSS budget Dr. Martirano is putting forward. We are at risk of losing over 5 teachers at Mt. Hebron that will impact what classes are offered, teacher work overload, and losing some really great staff. Personal testimony is also encouraged. Please visit this link for information on how you can submit emailed testimony or testify in person.
This testimony is in support of full funding of the FY 21 HCPSS budget put forward by school superintendent, Dr. Martirano. We have confidence that Dr. Martirano is asking for what the school system needs in order to maintain its world-renowned reputation of excellence, and we believe the county government should fully fund the request.
Even single drops of water can, over time, erode the hardest rock. If HCPSS is to keep from eroding, we need to staunch the dripping of the budget required to get the job done.
By this time, you will have heard many arguments about how music programs for youth are tied to brain development that helps with math skills and higher ordered problem solving. You’ve heard arguments about how valuable our middle school GT programs are, and how our teachers cannot bear the additional work requirements involved in managing growing classroom sizes year after year.
We at the high school level care greatly about cuts made to elementary music programs and middle school GT programs because next year, and for all the years following, those students will be in our building, in our classrooms, having born the resulting burden of decisions you will make over the next several weeks.
But specifically, I wanted to let you know about the impact it will have at Mt. Hebron High School if you do not fully fund the Superintendent’s budget request.
By increasing class size by 1 student, Mt. Hebron will be forced to surplus 5.5 staff positions. This is on top of HCPSS being forced to reduce staffing last year and the year before that. Drip drip drip.
At Mt. Hebron we will have to cut:
· AP classes,
· Electives, like music, art, and photography,
· College level science and math classes,
· World languages,
· Digital education (online) courses,
· And Computer Technology Education courses – student interest in CTE courses is increasing, but we will not have enough staff to expand the program to meet that demand.
It’s also important to consider that forcing schools to surplus staff means schools are losing the newest hires, who are often young, enthusiastic, and can’t wait to bring their new ideas into the classroom. What is sometimes lost in translation is that increasing class sizes equates to losing some incredible talent.
Please stop the drip-drip-drip of incremental cuts that are eroding our incredible school system. Let’s trust our Superintendent to present you with a budget that meets the county’s childrens’ needs, and please fund that budget in full.