UPDATE(5:30p.m.)—Brochin asks about outside auditing.
BCPS officials say the system is routinely audited including a legislative audit by the General Assembly every three years.
"No one can be as tightly scrutinising as our board of education," Hairston said.
UPDATE(5:28p.m.)—School officials say there is no link between administrative and teaching positions when it comes to developing a budget.
Hairston: "What you see is a scaled down" administration.
UPDATE(5:24p.m.)—Legislators come back to asking questions about administrative positions.
UPDATE(5:21p.m.)—Howie said that the state mandates that salary information for public employees is public information. She does not address the issue that the state Public Information Act applies only to documents and not to the asking of questions.
UPDATE(5:19p.m.)—Now asking about how BCPS releases information about salary. Margaret-Ann Howie, an attorney for the schools system, said the system has a policy that requests be submitted in writing.
You'll remember this became an issue when Patch requested the salary of a newly hired deputy superintendent. Patch refused to file a written request and it took 35 days to get the information.
UPDATE(5:17p.m.)—"Finding buildable, available property to build on is our next challenge," Hairston said, adding that the schools system has to work with state and county governments on this issue.
UPDATE(5:14p.m.)— Calder said the system has to balance "many important and competing priorities" when it comes to issues like school overcrowding.
UPDATE(5:12p.m.)—Del. Steve Lafferty said the school system needs to be more proactive in dealing with overcrowding before it becomes an issue.
"How do we anticipate where the next bubble is?" Lafferty asks.
"We do as we are required to do and make 10-year projections," said Kara Calder, executive director, Department of Planning & Support Operations.
UPDATE(5:07p.m.)—Topic changes to school overcrowding.
Hairston: "We're not knee-jerking. Everything we do we have empirical evidence."
UPDATE(5:05p.m.)—Boteler expressing concerns about who will have access to databases on students created in the AIM program.
"What's the security around this?" Boteler asks. "I have real concerns about what we're putting in there."
Hairston said teaching and grade information will go in there. Teachers, guidance counselors and principals have access.
"The security is almost military level security," Hairston said.
UPDATE(5:03p.m.)—Legislators ask about current status of AIM.
Roger Plunkett, assistant superintendent for curriculum, said AIM is merely a way for teachers to access the curriculum.
As an aside, Barbara Dezmon, the creator of AIM, is here today. She wrote the program while she worked for the school system and holds the rights to the program. Some legislators believe BCPS should own the program because it was developed while Dezmon was an employee.
Plunkett said the county is ahead of its time because other counties are trying to buy systems like AIM.
UPDATE(4:54p.m.)—Margaret-Ann Howie, a lawyer for BCPS, tells legislators that a contract with EduTrax that was bid as a sole source contract "is legal."
Howie said changing vendors now would be more expensive than staying with EduTrax.
Olszewski: How would we know (replacing EduTrax) would be more expensive if we haven't priced it out in more than a decade?
Hairston said BCPS routinely meets with vendors and asks "what do you have that we do not have and how much does it cost?"
UPDATE(4:53p.m.)—Brochin asks about another science teacher from Carver who was told he will not be teaching at Carver "and the position is not vacant."
"Tell me why someone like the science teacher, who is Mr. Aaron Joseph, would not have his job," Brochin asks.
Peccia responds that principals make decisions based on budget and that Joseph will teach at another school.
No one will be filling Joseph's position but if enough students sign up for that class, Joseph could be brought back.
UPDATE(4:49p.m.)—Boteler said a teacher who lived in his district went to a job fair to talk to other principals in an effort to keep teaching what he had been teaching. There were five other teachers in the same subject and that he was told there would be no other positions in the subject he teaches.
"As far as he knows, he's out," Boteler said.
Peccia tells Boteler to call the teacher and assure him that he will have a job, in his certified area, in the county schools system.
UPDATE(4:46p.m.)—Del. Steve Lafferty asks about class size increases and "shifts in philosophy of curriculum" that would cause some teachers in some subjects to be needed less than others.
Peccia said class sizes in high schools with fewer than 1,000 students will see class size grow by one student. Schools with more than 1,000 students will see a two student per class increase.
UPDATE(4:43p.m.)—Peccia said adjustments in staffing are made on a "week to week" basis and are affected as some students make decisions on which courses they want to take.
UPDATE(4:41p.m.)—Don Peccia, assistant superintendent for human resources, said high schools will have about 400 less students next year compared to this year while elementary school enrollment will increase.
UPDATE(4:39p.m.)—BCPS officials tell legislators that no teacher is losing their job. The only teachers who will not be rehired next year are those who are under-performing or those who have let their certification expire. Some teachers will be moved from some schools but placed in others.
UPDATE(4:36p.m.)—Outgoing board member Meg O'Hare is not impressed with Brochin's questions regarding non-teaching positions.
"That's just a stupid question," said O'Hare, who is sitting next to me.
UPDATE(4:35p.m.)—Burnopp said there are about 75 non-teaching positions that are not in a school or not covered by a union agreement.
UPDATE(4:34p.m.)—Brochin: How many of the 5,032 are in a school house.
Burnopp said she didn't have that information at hand.
UPDATE(4:31p.m.)—Sen. Jim Brochin asks how many non-teaching positions are in the system.
Burnopp says there are 5,032.
Brochin asks if each non-teaching position was reviewed before the teaching positions were closed out.
"I can tell you 'yes,'" Burnopp said.
UPDATE(4:28p.m.)—Barbara Burnopp, chief financial officer for BCPS, tells legislators that the freezing of the teaching positions is part of a typical budget review that happens every year.
UPDATE(4:23p.m.)—Hairston tells legislators that BCPS wasn't eliminating 200 positions.
"That never happened," Hairston said.
The school system is eliminating 196 positions through attrition. There will be nearly 200 less teachers next year than there are this year.
UPDATE(4:21p.m.)—Del. Steve Lafferty asks what happens when a school without air conditioning gets an addition that has air conditioning.
Sines said the system tries to add it as a renovation.
UPDATE(4:19p.m.)—Now talking about air conditioning in schools. A timely topic given that schools closed three hours early because of heat.
Sines, who heads facilities for the schools system, said two schools with air conditioning lost their systems due to equipment failure today.
UPDATE(4:17p.m.)—Hairston says: We were following our policy to the letter. It may have been too rigid.
UPDATE(4:15p.m.)—Hairston and Michael Sines are providing information to legislators about the Rule 1300/use of schools facilities rules which were first on a list of questions.
Del. Joseph Boteler asks for clarification on adoption of the rule. Sines says the rule has not been adopted.
"We think we have a more viable, flexible option for (the board) to consider," Sines said, adding that the system is not administering the policy as they had been.
UPDATE(4:12p.m.)—Starting with the first question on a list given to Hairston in April. You can see that list on the side of this story under Hairston's photo.
Hairston calls this a "courtesy meeting and a "good faith effort" to show that the schools system is transparent.
UPDATE(4:10p.m.)—Meeting begins with Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and Del. John Olszewski opening up with comments. Klausmeier reviewing the issues that led to this meeting including the April 8 breakfast meeting.
UPDATE(4:02p.m.)—Meeting hasn't started just yet. Legislators and Hairston just coming in. You can also follow me and and the county schools system on Twitter where I'm trying to keep up with the meeting #bcpsmtg (The schools system is also using this tag.)
State legislators are expected to meet with Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston today at 4 p.m. at the school system's Towson headquarters.
Topics are expected to include discussions of the rules governing the use of school facilities by community groups, the hiring of a new deputy superintendent, the use of no-bid or sole source contracts and the status of the AIM instructional tracking program.
Hairston will answer questions that were submitted to him in writing by legislators during a private breakfast meeting with legislators in Annapolis in April.
This blog will begin by posting new material at the top.