SEABROOK — Education never stops in Prince George’s County and sometimes it is hard to keep up with it all. Here are some education-related headlines that did not make the paper over the past month.
Celebrating the New
Although students started the school year in the newly renovated Glenarden Woods Elementary, the celebration of the long-awaited renovations did not occur until last week. And celebrate they did with a ribbon cutting on Nov. 11.
Glenarden Woods, a more than 77,000 square-foot school, was built in 1960 and cost nearly $25 million to renovate. HESS Construction undertook the project, which included making additions to the building, replacement of major building systems, a new kitchen and a new multipurpose room. Construction kicked off in February of 2016 and the building now meets LEED Gold standards.
An Extra Educational Boost
Prince George’s County Memorial Library System cardholders now have one more way to continue their education or improve their resumes. Through a partnership between Lynda. com and the library system, residents of the county can now take free classes online to “fill in the resume gaps.”
All you need is a your library card and pin number to get access to classes on business software, technology, creative suites and more. The online platform offers more than 6,000 courses taught by industry-leading professionals.
Signing on the Dotted Line
Both major unions involved with Prince George’s County Public Schools had their compensation agreements ratified at a Nov. 9 Prince George’s County Board of Education meeting.
The ratifications came after months of negotiations between the school system and the two organizations, the Prince George’s County Educators Association (PGCEA) and the Local 2250 (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – AFSCME).
The school board and AFSCME reached a one-year agreement, which ends June 30, 2018, that includes step increases for eligible employees or a $1,100 bonus for non-stop eligible employees.
Negotiations with PGCEA began in March 2017, and although their contract ended on June 30, a new one was not ratified until November. The new contract is a two-year agreement that will run until June 30, 2019.
That contract includes compensation increases for July 2017 through June 30, 2018, in the form of step increase for eligible employees or a two percent “one-time lump sum enhancement for employees at the top of the salary schedule who are not eligible for a step.” For July 2018 through June 30, 2019, compensation will include a step increase for eligible employees and another two percent lump sum enhancement for employees who are non-step eligible.
Also included in the PGCEA contract is language that would possibly establish work groups between the union and the school board to discuss issues facing educators in the county.
It’s All About the Money
The school system budget proposal process is officially underway and although the only public hearings before Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kevin Maxwell makes his official CEO budget recommendation to the board of education has passed, the public still has time to give input on what matters most to them.
Like last year, the school system is conducting an online survey to gauge where the community feels the school budget money should go. The survey, which can be found on the system’s budget page (http://pgcps.org/budget/) in bold blue lettering, gives the public 11 topics to comment on. It gives the option to leave a comment, question, suggestion, concern or compliment and to upload an attachment to your submission. Topics include class sizes, compensation, transportation, security and more.
The online survey closes Nov. 27.