Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

FY 2011 Operating Budget: Question & Answers

During the budget process, questions asked by members of the Board of Education are compiled. Appropriate staff from Montgomery County Public Schools respond to the questions with written answers that are forwarded to Board members.

Answers to other budget questions may be requested from the Department of Management, Budget, and Planning. Ask a budget question

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Questions 41-50


41. Please provide a complete breakdown of the cost comparisons, including employee benefits & retirement costs, that support the statement that the proposed re-alignment from MPAC to MCPS in-house is budget neutral, for a projected period of 2011-2016.

Budget Page Reference: 5-15; 5-45; 7-20

The cost for nonpublic tuition to send 36 students to the MPAC program is projected at $1,135,800, or an average of $31,550 per student. For FY 2011, MCPS has budget ed $1,131,530 for the salaries and related employee benefits for 20.4 positions to serve the 36 students in the prekindergarten, school/community-based classes within MCPS.

Attachment A

42. Why does Communications and Family Outreach need four directors and four supervisors for approximately 80 other positions?

Budget Page Reference: FY 2011 Program Budget – Page 415

The Office of Communications and Family Outreach (OCFO) is responsible for a wide range of functions that includes coordination of systemwide communication, coordination of systemwide parent engagement and community outreach, and support for school system central services and business operations. OCFO leadership provides efficient and effective coordination of this wide range of functions.

The 4.0 director positions provide the overall leadership and coordination among OCFO departments and across other MCPS offices, as well as with county agencies and community and business partners. The supervisors concentrate on supporting OCFO core functions. The scope of these functions is extensive because of the size of the staff necessary to execute systemwide initiatives and the multiple revenue streams and multiple work sites, and requires the support of supervisors.

As with all areas of the budget, OCFO continues to evaluate its staffing to ensure that the functions of the office are carried out efficiently and economically.

43. Why are there only one supervisor and three auditor positions, given that we have a budget of over $2 billion and over 200 Independent Activity Funds? Provide an explanation of all the resources that are used to perform the auditing functions.

Budget Page Reference: 3-10

In addition to the supervisor and three auditor positions, supporting services temporary part-time salaries are budgeted for five temporary part-time auditors. Further, the IAU coordinates the contract for the MCPS annual financial statement audit conducted by external auditors. Audits of MCPS also are conducted by local, state, and federal government agencies. These agencies include the County Office of Legislative Oversight, the State Office of Legislative Audits, the Maryland State Department of Education, the State of Maryland Public School Construction Program, the State of Maryland Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Education.

44. Why do each of the four OSA units need their own P level Directors, when there are only 37 total other employees in OSA? How does this compare to having one O level supervisor for 195 speech pathologists?

Budget Page Reference: 3-3

The Office of Shared Accountability (OSA) has seven units, four of which are led by O level supervisors: Internal Audit, Testing, Applied Research, and Program Evaluation. The remaining three units (Policy, Records, and Reporting) comprise the Department of Policy, Records, and Reporting and are supervised by the office’s only P level Director.

45. Why do we need six Cluster Security Coordinators when we have 25 Security Team Leaders? Why do we need both a Director and a Supervisor in this budget category?

Budget Page Reference: 7-113

A Security Team Leader (STL) is assigned to each high school. The STL is responsible for supporting the school administration by supervising the high school security team.  The STL does not provide regular support to any of the cluster middle schools or elementary schools.  The Cluster Security Coordinator (CSC) has supervisory responsibilities for the cluster STLs, provides security support for the cluster middle schools, and also acts as the only security support for the cluster elementary schools.

The CSC is directly responsible for the following:

  • Assisting each school administrator yearly in the completion of the school crisis plan.
  • Training each school’s On Site Emergency Team in emergency preparedness procedures.
  • Monitoring and providing feedback on schools’ code red/code blue drills.
  • Facilitating and conducting the yearly completion of a comprehensive school security assessment at all schools.
  • Providing evaluative support on the STL to the school principal.
  • Acting as a school liaison between county and municipal public safety agencies.
  • Providing training and orientation resources for all school-based security personnel.

The supervisor of the Department of School Safety and Security is directly responsible for the following:

  • Providing the immediate oversight of the CIP-supported initiative to upgrade all school-based security systems by working directly with all contractors, vendors, project managers, and integrators.
  • Supervising the daily activities of the six cluster security coordinators.
  • Completing all department personnel evaluations and monitors each employee’s professional development plan.
  • Working in coordination with the Electronic Detection Section supervisor to ensure comprehensive 24 hour security operations.
  • Acting as a system liaison to county and municipal public safety supervisory staff.
  • Assisting in the development of departmental training program for all school staff.
  • Developing and distributing all departmental process improvement documentation.

The Director of the Department of School Safety and Security is directly responsible for the following:

  • Providing senior oversight for all departmental operations.
  • Acting as the direct liaison between the Office of the Superintendent of Schools and the Office of the Chief Operating Officer (OCOO) and all county and municipal public safety agency executive staff. 
  • Attending OCOO staff meetings and providing required presentations on all security related initiatives.
  • Managing all aspects of system-wide crisis/emergency operations when an incident occurs.
  • Writing and revising departmental issued documents related to security that is designated for distribution to school administrative staff.
  • Preparing and managing the departmental budget.

46. There is a request for $607,948 under “Other Contractual” in the budget for Office of Communications and Family Outreach. Please provide a breakdown of what expenditures are anticipated in that figure.

Budget Page Reference: FY 2011 Program Budget – Page 413

The $607,948 budget for “Other Contractual” for the Office of Communication and Family Outreach includes the following:

Unit

Amount

Description

Instructional Television

$3,500

Annual rights for copyrighted music to be used in ITV productions

Editorial, Graphics and Publishing Services

414,569

Contract maintenance for Docutech Printing System (Copy-Plus) and Controller System; Professional Library copier; production support for specific publications that are more efficiently outsourced than in-house capabilities allow; Copy-Plus service for schools utilizing the County Government Copy Center for support as needed during peak demand

Family and Community Partnerships

148,502

Study Circles facilitators; Back-to-School Fair tent and generator rental; maintenance contract for copy machine, fax machine and printers

Public Information

34,877

Contractual agreements for licenses for MCPS Web software including web publishing system, search engine and other applications; maintenance of MCPS Web hardware (servers); maintenance of web domain names (e.g., mcpsHSA.org); maintenance of copy, fax and printers; implementing Web enhancements and migration of schools to Web publishing system; development of parent resource materials                            

Instructional Television (PEG)

6,500

Maintenance and repair of TV studio and field equipment

Total

$607,948

 

 

47. Please provide a comparison of the percent of MCPS Operating Budget allocated to Employee Benefits versus the percent of the following budgets spent on employee benefits: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Frederick County Public Schools, Howard County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Charles County Public Schools.

Budget Page Reference: Appendix C-13

Attached is a chart comparing the percentage of expenditures for Category 12, Fixed Charges, to the total operating budget for the approved FY 2010 operating budget for each of the counties listed. Category 12 includes some relatively minor costs not related to employee benefits such as vehicle insurance and building insurances, and some employee benefits may be budgeted in other categories (enterprise funds, for example), but Category 12 is the most reliable way of comparing benefits costs between counties in Maryland. For Montgomery County, the total just for employee benefits in FY 2010 is $454.7 million.

Fairfax County does not use Maryland state categories, but it does report its budget in a very similar way, so that its Employee Benefits category closely matches Maryland’s Category 12. However, Virginia districts differ significantly from Maryland districts in reporting employee benefits because in Virginia payments to state retirement systems for teachers and other professional employees are made through the district budget rather than directly by the state. In addition, districts have different approaches to pre-funding of retiree health benefits (OPEB), which may account for some of the differences in benefits as a percentage of the operating budget in FY 2010.

Attachment A

48. What was the actual total expenditure for textbooks and instructional materials at the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels for 2007-2008 (FY 2008), 2008-2009 (FY 2009), and so far this year, FY 2010?

Budget Page Reference: N/A

The total expenditures for textbooks and materials for elementary, middle and high schools for FY 2008, FY 2009, and thus far in FY 2010 are noted in the table below.

 

Actual Expenditures

FY 2008

$22,193,812

FY 2009

$22,181,760

FY 2010 (as of January 31, 2010)

$18,059,196

 

49. According to testimony provided by the Churchill Cluster, MCPS executives, administrators, and other support personnel have grown 513 percent since 2003, while teacher positions have only grown by 11.7 percent. Is this correct? If so, provide a rationale for the growth.

Budget Page Reference: 5-15; 5-45; 7-20

The number of executive positions has grown by 4.0 positions, from 15.0 in FY 2003 to 19.0 for FY 2011. For administrative positions, an accurate comparison cannot be made because the positions in this grouping have been recast. In fact, Table 5 was not published in the FY 2009 and 2010 budgets because the reports were used to derive the data were being revised. In FY 2003 some of the administrative positions were shown in the “Other Professional” grouping. As shown below, there is an overall decrease of 102.9 administrative and other professional positions from FY 2003 to FY 2011.

Position Group FY 2003
Positions
FY 2011
Positions
Change
Executive 15.0 19.0 4.0
Administrative 81.0 213.0 132.0
Other Professional 445.7 210.8 (234.9)
Total 526.7 423.8 (102.9)

The grouping “Other Support Personnel” is a new grouping added to Table 5 in the FY 2011 operating budget document. Examples of positions in this category include those in the areas of finance, technology, human resources, communications, and research. Positions that were distributed in other categories on Table 5 in FY 2003 are now grouped together.

50. Please provide a breakdown of all funds anticipated to be spent on Universal Design for Learning. For the funds anticipated to be spent, how much will we spend on assistive devices to be used directly with individual students?

Budget Page Reference: 5-15; 5-45; 7-20

There are system level activities and projects that incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, including professional development, revisions of the elementary curriculum, and collaborative planning between general and special educators.

The State of Maryland’s proposed definition of UDL is a scientifically valid framework for guiding curriculum design, including goals, teaching methods, instructional materials, and assessments to -

  • provide flexibility in the ways
    • information is presented,
    • students respond or demonstrate knowledge or skills,
    • students are engaged, and
  • reduce barriers in instruction and provide appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges while maintaining high achievement expectations for all students.

A work group consisting of representatives from the Office of Special Education and Student Services (OSESS), the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), the Office of Organizational Development, the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs, and the Office of School Performance was formed to build on the plan to strategically incorporate UDL into the instructional program.  Working with executive leadership, the group will collaborate to make recommendations regarding the use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds aligned with the use of local funds for UDL-based projects. The draft two-year spending plan includes the allocation of funds to purchase Assistive Technology (AT) materials and activities to support UDL.

Draft ARRA UDL Spending Plan

 

ARRA

AT Materials

 

FM Systems

$     39,500

BrailleNote m Power BT32

     12,195

UDL Activities

 

Modifying Curriculum Assessments

   554,160

Mini-Grants to Schools for Co-Teaching Planning

 
 600,000

Support for UDL

4,845,454

                                   Total:

   $ 6,051,309

To this end, the ARRA funds are committed to providing universal access and flexible use of formative and summative assessments, curriculum materials, instructional practices and strategies, digital content, and interactive technologies. Funds totaling $4.8 million to support UDL will be used to work with classroom teachers to integrate inquiry-based strategies to meet the differentiated needs of students, including incorporating technology and critical learning techniques. In FY 2011, funds to support UDL will be utilized as follows:

Expenditure Description

% of Total Funds

Professional Development: Stipends and Substitutes, including fringe

37%

Research and Evaluation: Project evaluation research efforts on teacher change and student learning

4%

Contractual: Consultants to support the integration of assistive technology, video capturing, and digital content

18%

Equipment: interactive student technologies for Universal Design for Learning

41%

AT materials and devices provide students with disabilities access to the general education curriculum. Staff in the Physical Disabilities Program provides the technical support to school based staff to ensure the successful use of these devices. Examples of AT include, but are not limited to, voice output devices, text-to-speech software, and word prediction software. In the FY 2011 local budget, OSESS proposes $276,683 for AT materials and AT devices for students receiving special education services.

Local Funds

AT Materials

AT Equipment

InterACT

$  57,780

$  69,120

Physical Disabilities

-

    39,250

Deaf/Hard Of Hearing

     10,888

-

Vision

    10,745

-

Assistive Technology

     88,900

-

Sub Totals:

   168,313

  108,370

Grand Total:

$  276,683

-

 




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Updated February 19, 2010 | Maintained by Web Services