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Kline seeks re-election to school board

July 09, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

Washington County Board of Education President Robert L. Kline said he will work to decrease class sizes and to increase pay for teachers if he is re-elected.

Kline, who is finishing his first four-year term on the board, said the school system needs to hire more teachers to reduce the size of classes.

Funding for 38 additional teachers was included in the 1998-99 school budget.

Concern over the size of classes has been an issue locally and statewide this year.

The Maryland State Teachers Association released a study this year showing classes across the state are larger than state officials suggest.

Regarding teacher pay, the school board is proposing it give teachers a 3 percent, across-the-board pay hike in addition to regular step raises, Kline said.

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The two-year contract proposal also calls for a 4 percent across-the-board teacher pay raise in 1999-2000, although that depends on funding from the Washington County Commissioners.

Kline said there have been improvements in the system since he was elected, including improved communication between teachers, principals and the administration.

With newly hired Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. and other new staff members in the central office, the district is poised for more progress, said Kline.

Kline said he has enjoyed his first term on the board.

"As long as I'm helping teachers and kids, I'm satisfied," said Kline.

Kline, 68, is a retired carpentry teacher from Career Studies Center. He has been mayor of Funkstown since 1982.

Kline is one of 16 people running for five seats on the school board.

Two of the seats are newly created, and will increase the size of the board from five to seven members.

The 16 candidates will face off in a primary election on Sept. 15, with the top 10 vote-getters vying for the five seats in the Nov. 3 general election.

The top three vote-getters in the general election will serve four-year terms and the next two highest vote-getters will serve two year terms.

After this election, a school board member will make $4,800 a year and the president will make $4,900.

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