Superintendent Smith Recommends $2.8 Billion Operating Budget
Superintendent Jack Smith is recommending a $2.8 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 that will allow the district to manage significant growth and ensure that students have the access and opportunity they need to meet their full potential. The recommended operating budget for FY 2021 is a $121 million (4.5 percent) increase over FY 2020.
MCPS is the 14th largest school system in the United States with 165,267 students enrolled, a one-year increase of 2,587 students. The projected enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is 167,041.
Most of the recommended spending increase will be used to provide services to a growing number of students; fund ongoing salaries and benefits; and manage increasing operational costs.
The recommendation also includes $23.7 million to expand and implement strategic key bodies of work. This includes:
- Expansion of Head Start and full-day prekindergarten programs
- Investments in special education early learning
- Planning for community school pilot
- Evaluating and preparing for additional Innovative Calendar Schools and two-way immersion schools
- Launching the Equity and Innovation Fund
- Increasing exposure to language opportunities
- Creation of three new regional IB centers to provide more access to rigorous coursework
- Increasing investment in support for English Language Learners
- Addition of mental health support staff to support student mental health and well-being
- Opening of upcounty career readiness hub at the new Seneca Valley High School
- Expanding the Aviation program
- Expanding the College Tracks program
- Providing additional support for language and STEM programming
- Launching a specialized team focused on attracting, recruiting and retaining a highly qualified and diverse teacher workforce to support the needs of all students
- A new school supervision structure to ensure student safety beyond the bell
- Additional security staffing
Dr. Smith’s recommendation reflects the Board of Education’s budget interests and significant input from an array of stakeholders. This included staff, parents, students and community members who were a part of several budget teams and provided input on specific areas of need.
The recommended budget also was built in partnership with representatives from the MCPS employees’ associations, the Budget Steering Committee, and several district and community groups.
The process and timeline for the FY 2021 operating budget is:
- Mid-December 2019 through early January 2019: Signups for operating budget hearings
- January 13 and January 15, 2020: Board of Education holds operating budget hearings
- January 22 and January 28, 2020: Board of Education holds operating budget work sessions
- February 10, 2020: Board takes action on the recommended budget