Board of Education Adopts Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget
The Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a $2.52 billion operating budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. This includes an increase of $64.24 million from FY 2017. The student-centered budget will allow the district to manage significant enrollment growth and build the foundation and structure needed to ensure that all MCPS students are able to achieve at higher levels.
“This budget is a reflection of our values and commitment to ensuring all students have the opportunities, resources and support they need to meet their full potential,” said Board President Michael Durso. “Our requested budget allows us to build on our momentum toward closing the achievement gap by expanding what is working, and implementing new, targeted strategies to accelerate its closure.”
A majority of the $64.24 million spending increase will be used to provide the same level of services to a growing number of students; fund ongoing salaries and benefits; and manage increasing operational costs. The recommendation also includes $11.01 million in strategic priority accelerators focused on improving student performance while narrowing achievement gaps. The accelerators are grouped by the five strategic priorities that Superintendent Jack Smith outlined at the start of the school year:
- Improving Teaching and Learning;
- Learning, Accountability, and Results;
- Human Capital;
- Community Partnerships and Engagement;
- Operational Excellence
Additionally, the Board’s adopted operating budget restores 35.5 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) positions for reading initiative teachers in kindergarten through second grade. These positions had been realigned in the superintendent’s recommended operating budget.
The Board’s adopted operating budget recommendation reflects input from a broad array of stakeholders, including staff, parents, students and community members. The Board held two budget hearings and feedback was also gathered online.
Investments in these areas will allow MCPS to maintain its excellent programs; expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics courses and extracurricular opportunities; increase access to Career Technology Education programs; allocate money to ensure that any student in Grade 11 who wants to take the SAT, ACT or a career certification assessment can do so, free of charge; provide training for teachers to hone their craft; provide professional learning for teachers and paraeducators on issues of cultural competence, implicit bias, and restorative practice; and implement a new data management system.
The Board will submit its budget request to Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Montgomery County Council by March 1. County Executive Leggett is expected to release his budget recommendation by March 15. The Montgomery County Council will hold public hearings on the county budget in April before passing a final budget in May. The Board of Education will vote again in June for final adoption of the budget.