MCPS to Make Hard Cuts to Close Budget Gap; 380 Positions to Be Eliminated and Tech Rollouts Delayed
When the Montgomery County Board of Education meets next Tuesday, June 16, the day after the 2014-2015 ends, the Board will face a tough decision to approve Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers plan for closing the multi-million budget shortfall for next year.
Bowers is recommending that Montgomery County Public Schools eliminate hundreds of positions, delay further implementation of a districtwide technology initiative, and make several other reductions to close a $53 million budget shortfall for next school year.
The Board will consider the recommendations at the meeting on Tuesday, June 16, when the Board is scheduled to approve a final Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Operating Budget.
If Bowers recommendation is approved by the Board it would mean 380 teaching and staff positions would be cut from MCPS schools. There is no word on how these cuts would directly affect Germantown area schools
“There are no easy answers when you have to make a budget cut of this size, especially in an organization like MCPS, where 90 percent of your budget goes toward paying for the people who do the important work every day,” said Bowers. “We have made reductions in a strategic way that maximizes funding for classroom instruction, but with the magnitude of the cuts, every school in our district will be impacted.”
According to MCPS, Bowers’ recommendations were developed in collaboration with the leadership of the district’s three employee associations, the Montgomery County Education Association, the Service Employees International Union Local 500, and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals.
“I am grateful for the collaboration of our employee associations, who continue to be at the table when difficult decisions have to be made,” Bowers said. “They are strong advocates for our students and our staff, while recognizing the need for flexibility and partnership during difficult financial times.”
On May 21, the Montgomery County Council approved a $2.32 billion FY 2016 Operating Budget for MCPS. The Council’s budget is more than $53 million lower than the Board of Education requested and is funded at the minimum level required by state law, called Maintenance of Effort (MOE). MCPS had begun preparing for the possibility of budget reductions, but the need for deeper cuts was solidified when Governor Larry Hogan, Jr., decided not to fully fund public education next year.