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Board of Ed Adopts Budget with 2.4 Percent Increase

The Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously adopted a $2.52 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, it a meeting held yesterday, Tuesday, June 13. The budget represents 2.4 percent increase from the current year’s budget, which is a $59.6 million increase.

On May 25, 2017, the County Council approved the Montgomery County Public Schools Operating Budget appropriation for Fiscal Year 2018. The Council approved a total of $2,517,093,841 for MCPS.

Montgomery County Public Schools said this will allow the district to make targeted investments to manage significant enrollment growth and build the foundation and structure that is needed to ensure that all MCPS students are able to achieve at higher levels.

“This budget is an important step up the ladder toward serving our students and addressing all the different challenges we face in the school system,” stated Board of Education President Michael Durso. “These resources will allow us to keep pace with growth and ensure all students have the opportunity to reach their potential. We thank County Executive Leggett, County Council President Roger Berliner, and the entire County Council for its unwavering commitment to the students of Montgomery County Public Schools.”

According to Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith’s memo to the Board of Ed, “The total tax-supported budget (excluding grants, enterprise, and special revenue funds) approved by the Council for FY 2018 is $2,368,655,562, an increase of $57,077,342 (2.5 percent) from the current FY 2017 tax-supported budget of $2,311,578,220.”

“The Council’s action on the overall FY 2018 Operating Budget for MCPS decreased the Board’s requested budget by $4,624,904,” wrote Smith. “The Council reduced the Board’s request for the local contribution by a total of $8,120,670. The Council action also reflects a reduction of $86,826 in the amount of revenue from the state based on an updated allocation received in April 2017 from the Maryland State Department of Education.”

According to MCPS, a majority of the $59.6 million spending increase will be used to maintain the successful practices that led to strong student achievement, ensure operational excellence and invest in new strategies to ensure all students are able to achieve at high levels.

The budget anticipates an enrollment increase of more than 2,200 students for the 2017–2018 school year and includes $19.25 million and 237 teacher and staff positions to respond to the growth. MCPS also is adding more space, including the opening of Silver Creek Middle School in August 2017 and adding Grade 8 to Hallie Wells Middle School, which opened in fall 2016.

The local contribution of $1,663,280,683 approved by the Council is $19,000,000 more than the minimum amount required by the state Maintenance of Effort (MOE) law.

The budget also funds five strategic accelerators for a total of $11.0 million:

Improve Teaching and Learning: $3.61 million

• Increase opportunities for students to participate in rigorous coursework, programs and co-curricular activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

• Expand achievement-focused extracurricular programs to all middle school to increase outcomes and opportunities for students

• Expand home-school model special education programs

• Ensure effective mathematics instruction through robust materials, focused support and approaches to scheduling

Focus on Learning, Accountability, and Results: $2.68 million

• Improve understanding of data through implementation of comprehensive data systems

• Provide assessment opportunities for students who want to take the SAT, ACT, or career certification assessments

• Implement climate surveys for staff and students

• Implement systems that result in comprehensive and systemic college/career planning efforts

Focus on Human Capital: $1.27 million

• Implement required professional learning for teachers and paraeducators to include cultural competence, implicit bias and restorative practice

• Provide focused training for teachers on effective practices and content knowledge

• Develop comprehensive pathway programs for supporting services staff who want to become teachers

• Expand equity and excellence hiring efforts

Focus on Community Partnerships and Engagement: $1.25 million

• Develop and communicate resources and materials to provide parents and partners with information on available opportunities and improving outcomes for students

• Build pipelines from elementary schools to improve engagement and opportunities in arts, sciences, and mathematics programs