Board of Education Adopts Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget
The Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a $2.805 billion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. This includes an increase of $124.1 million from FY 2020. The budget will allow Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to manage significant enrollment growth and focus on strategic investments to address disparities in student achievement.
“This budget advances equity and excellence for all students in Montgomery County Public Schools,” said Board President Shebra L. Evans. “MCPS continues to make progress toward eliminating disparities in academic achievement. We believe this budget will help us accelerate this progress.”
A majority of the $124.1 million 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:
- Additional English for Speakers of Other Languages teachers and counselors;
- The expansion of prekindergarten seats;
- Increasing exposure to language opportunities;
- Creation of three new regional International Baccalaureate centers to provide more access to rigorous coursework;
- 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;
- Providing additional support for language and science, technology, engineering and mathematics programming;
- Equity and innovation initiatives; and
- An expansion and enhancement of teacher recruitment and retention efforts to ensure all classrooms have highly qualified teachers from a diversity of backgrounds.
As part of the BOE presentation, the superintendent presented amendments to his Recommended FY 2021 operating budget totaling $2.0 million and 13.020 FTEs, which included:
- Additional positions based on student enrollment adjustments;
- Accelerators for Learning, Accountability and Results and Operational Excellence strategies;
- Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation-directed grants; and
- Additional identified savings.
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. These amendments total $1.0 million and include the following:
- Three additional counselor positions to support schools and students;
- The restoration of three learning and academic instructional specialists that were realigned in the recommended budget; and
- One staffing specialist to support the hiring of support personnel.
The Board will submit its budget request to Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the Montgomery County Council by March 1, 2020. County Executive Elrich is expected to release his budget recommendation on March 16, 2020. The Montgomery County Council will hold public hearings on the county budget in April before passing a final budget on May 21, 2020. After the County Council’s action, the Board of Education will vote on June 11, 2020, for final adoption of the FY 2021 operating budget.