Board of Education Adopts Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget
The Board of Education (Board) voted unanimously to adopt a $2.59 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. This includes an increase of $72.96 million from FY 2018. The budget will allow Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to manage enrollment growth and build on the foundation and structure needed to ensure all MCPS students are achieving at higher levels.
“This budget builds on investments the county and the school district have made in recent years that reflect our core values of learning, relationships, respect, excellence and equity while managing significant enrollment growth,” said Board President Michael Durso. “It defines a clear path to improved achievement for all students and instills confidence that MCPS will fulfill its core purpose of preparing all students to thrive.”
A majority of the $72.96 million spending increase will be used to provide the same level of services to a growing number of students; manage increasing operational costs; and fund ongoing salaries and benefits.
Since FY 2009, MCPS’ enrollment has increased by more than 21,000 students, an increase of more than 2,300 students per year. It is expected that the district will continue to see significant growth and the additional investment is essential if the district is to maintain the quality of the school system and address the much needed work to improve the educational outcomes for all MCPS students.
The budget focuses on key bodies of work that define a roadmap of the district’s current and future efforts. It includes $16.12 million to expand and implement strategic accelerators. This includes:
- Introducing new career readiness pathways, including Aviation and Aerospace; Cybersecurity; Fire Safety and Rescue; Law Enforcement and Leadership; and more
- Adding more two-way elementary language immersion programs
- Expanding programs in Computer Science, Coding and Robotics
- Implementing extended year programs at two elementary schools beginning July 2019
- Launching a Recovery Education program
- Expanding the College Tracks and Achieving Collegiate Excellence & Success (ACES) programs
- Expanding Middle and Early College programs
The Board’s adopted operating budget reflects input from a broad array of stakeholders, including staff, parents, students and community members. The Board held two budget hearings and two work sessions. Following the hearings and work sessions, the Board proposed and tentatively approved several amendments to Dr. Smith’s recommended budget at its February 13 business meeting:
- Realignment of three instructional specialist positions from the Office of School Support and Improvement to the Office of Special Education to create three supervisor positions to support schools for a cost of $71,256
- Addition of one manager position to support Linkages to Learning for a cost of $124,220 for salary and benefits
- Addition of one consulting teacher position for a cost of $126,355 for salary and benefits
- Addition of .5 content specialist position for a cost of $78,134 for salary and benefits
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 on March 15. The Montgomery County Council will hold public hearings on the county budget in April before passing a final budget in May. After the County Council’s action, the Board of Education will vote again in June for final adoption of the FY 2019 budget.