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Dozens Voice Concern at School Budget Hearing

Parents from various schools filled the board room to discuss their thoughts on the superintendent's proposed budget.

Read the recap below of Wednesday's live blog.

8:03 p.m. - Otis Duffy - Vice president of Meade PTSA but says he doesn't have any children in public schools currently, both graduated from Meade High. Says if he knew about the conditions at Edgewater, he'd be standing in its support even though he has no ties to the school. A loud applause filled the room when he said that. 

"Edgewater right now, is the number one priority," Duffy says. Says Meade has needs but we need to prioritize those needs. "Mr. Superintendent, I take my hat off to you, take it with a grain of salt, you're doing a great job. Just give me what we want and we'll be happy."

8:00 p.m. - Ted Knight - Parent of a first-grade girl at . Says there are more than 50 parents and educators in attendance tonight. He has a boy with asthma who's excited about heading off to Edgewater but that he's nervous to send him there. 

"Move up the timeline of the feasability study so our kids can be safe," Knight said. 

7:57 p.m. - Holli Meissner - She's a parent at Edgewater Elementary who has a daughter who had asthma until she was 5. Her daughter began attending the school in September and is thriving, according to her mother. 

"Three weeks into the school year, my daughter's cough came back and it won't go away," says Meissner. Says she's had to double the dose of normal medication to quench the cough sometimes. 

Says her daughter loves the school but might be forced to leave because the environment is affecting her health.

7:55 p.m. - Elizabeth King - Parent with Rolling Knolls showing her support for capital budget and its funding for the school which is currenlty at 125 percent capacity, according to King.

7:53 p.m. - Another Edgewater Elementary parent asking for a special person be appointed to work with the school and its allegedly unhealthy environment. "We're not being assured that this issue is being taken care of," said the parent.

7:49 p.m. - Caroline Fiumy - Parent of two children, one with autism, and wants to discuss the effects of the budget on special education in the county. Says there are 7,786 students that receive special education services and the number of infants and toddlers are increasing rapidly. 

7:40 p.m. - Cathy Keith - Says her daughter is struggling due to the health conditions at Edgewater Elementary and says the recent air-quality testing at the school was not thorough.

Says her daughter was drug free for more than a year prior to attending Edgewater Elementary, but now she's on a cocktail that "to be honest," isn't helping. 

7:33 p.m. - Sue Danielson - She is a specialist in asthma and has a son with asthma. Claims it was familial and that he got it from his father. The crowd chuckles.

Davidson says her son went from no medication to as much asthma medicine as an adult male because of his exposure to the environment at Edgewater Elementary.

**Note** Everytime someone from Edgewater Elementary speaks, about three dozen people stand holding "Got Mold?" signs, addressing their desire to be included in the feasability study for 2013.

7:28 p.m. - Parent discussing Severna Park cluster and Jones Elementary. Asked that the Severna Park cluster is considered fairly when it comes to adding teachers.

7:18 p.m. - Ray Leone - "We're here for our children. We're not asking for champaigne and lobster, we're asking for a budget that lets our superintendent and the board do it's job. Give our students the best possible advantages. Continue to expand IB programs in Middle and Elementary schools. We're tired of the mantra of 'do more with less.' How about a new one—'Not with our children."

7:10 p.m. Allister Sewell - Said Edgewater Elemetnary is in the worst condition in the county. Said when they said this to a county council member, the response by one board member was that the parents had "champaigne tastes." Said the school board is limited by a budget that is sufficient to do nothing.

7:08 p.m. Irene Hantman - Parent of Edgewater elementary student. Addressing the air quality problems at Edgewater. Her 10-year-old said she heard banging around her classroom today due to work in a crawlspace.

Dozens of parents are filling the conference room at the Board of Education's Parham Building in Annapolis.

More than 20 residents have already signed up to address the school board, that's more than triple the number from Tuesday's similar hearing at Old Mill.

Above are up-to-the-minute reports from the meeting here in Annapolis. 

Maryellen Brady January 16, 2012 at 03:41 PM
London Towne was established in 1932. Accord to numbers, we paid for our infrastructure by 1942-1952. Which means our taxpaying residents have subsidized the growth around the AA county for 60 years. All that growth the leaders have been promoting was supposed to bring the money to pay forward. Where is all that money they assured us would come?? It is time that South County get some of the $$'s generated by all THAT GROWTH, that tax dollar producing GROWTH that was so urgently needed for PROGRESS. Woodland Beach needs a new FIRE HOUSE and EDGEWATER ELE needs to be renovated. by the way, it was London Towne community that donated the land for the Woodland Beach FD.
jesse55jp January 16, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I agree. We need several new fire houses and schools. The EMS "fee for service" which is $500 billed to insurance companies every time someone gets a ride to the hospital should take care of that. At the very least it should generate $25 million dollars a year. Not sure what "general fund" that goes into or what it pays for. The employees of AA County sure haven't seen the benefit of it.
Maryellen Brady January 16, 2012 at 08:38 PM
The ambulance reimbursement collected since implementation in 2009 as of January 2011 was just $8.5 million. Billing and collecting are two different animals. And as you can see, not very likely to generate $25 mil a year any time soon.
jesse55jp January 16, 2012 at 09:44 PM
You have a good point.....another well thought out plan by the administration.....
kerry petz February 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Over 100 signatures on a holiday weekend! Thank you so much for your attention to the needs of Arnold. We have gained momentum and want to keep it going. Don't forget to send to friends and family regardless of where they live, people who care can come from all over! Thank you again on behalf of all those who want the best for AES. More at change.org

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