Board of Education Adopts Final $2.76 Billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2021
On June 11, the Montgomery County Board of Education adopted a $2.76 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The budget represents a $74.9 million increase, or a 2.8 percent increase, over the current fiscal year budget. This funding level reflects the County Council’s vote to fund the school district at the minimum level required by the state’s Maintenance of Effort law given the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is less than what the Board of Education requested from the county. The budget will allow Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to maintain the operational and instructional infrastructure of the school system and to keep its focus on excellence and equity.
“This budget will ensure that MCPS can direct critical resources needed to implement a comprehensive recovery of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year,” said Board President Shebra Evans. “While the global crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession have impacted our funding levels from the county, we remain steadfast in our commitment to eliminating disparities in academic achievement. We believe this budget will help us continue this critical work.”
The operating budget continues to be centered on the district’s core purpose of preparing all students to thrive in their futures. It includes funding to support the continuity of learning plan necessitated by the pandemic and addresses increasing enrollment, rising costs and critical investments to both maintain the level of academic excellence in MCPS and to close the gaps in access, opportunity and achievement for students who have yet to meet their potential.
A majority of the $74.9 million increase will support:
- Growth and additional space
- Continuity of learning
- Instructional salaries
- Professional development
- Technology infrastructure
- State and federal grant adjustments
The budget also included adjustments, efficiencies and other reductions totaling $30.5 million. The use of savings identified in the current FY 2020 budget have been used to procure anticipated technology and curriculum needs for the 2020–2021 school year. This amounts to approximately $10.0 million that would otherwise have been needed in the FY 2021 budget. Additionally, the downward revision to the estimated student enrollment growth for the 2020–2021 school year results in a savings of approximately $8.0 million.
The Board’s adopted operating budget reflects input from an 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 amendments to the FY 2021 budget at its February 10, 2020, business meeting.