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Explain why the projected number of students in the Bridge Program will be 30 less than the number budgeted for FY 2013.

Question#: 9

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: 5-48

ANSWER:

The Office of Special Education and Student Services has analyzed data regarding the capacity and monthly enrollment in the Bridge Program. Students who access middle school Bridge Program are those that received a variety of special education services at the elementary level.  Middle school students who receive Bridge services traditionally articulate to high school Bridge services, resulting in a more predictable enrollment projection than at the middle school level.

The development of the FY 2014 special education budget included a review of trend data for the past five years.  These data indicate that the Bridge Program continues to experience growth. However, within the past two years, the enrollment patterns have stabilized.  To ensure the quality of services for this population, MCPS has maintained the teacher station staffing model of four teachers at the middle school level and seven teachers at the high school level.  Maintaining the teacher station model allows for a potential increase in student enrollment without the need to request additional staffing to provide these highly specialized services.  The analysis revealed the following factors that resulted in decision to project a decrease in enrollment for FY 2014.

  • The peak projection in the FY 2013 budget of 220 students was too high.  As of September 30, 2012, actual FY 2013 enrollment is 177 students.
  • Actual average enrollment trend from FY 2011 to FY 2013 shows an increase of approximately 10 students per year.
  • Following the trend, enrollment is projected to be 190 students, 13 students above actual FY 2013 enrollment but 30 less students than budgeted in FY 2013.

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