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The Board of Education unanimously approved the final FY 2009 Operating Budget at its June 10 meeting. The budget, totaling $2.07 billion, is 2.1 percent, or about $44.6 million, less than the Board had requested from the County Council. The budget includes funding for middle school reform, hours-based staffing for middle school special education, International Baccalaureate programs at two high schools and full funding of negotiated salaries, among other things.
The Board of Education's all-day business meeting will be webcast live starting at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 10. You need the free Windows MediaPlayer on your computer to view the meeting.
About 10,300 Montgomery County Public Schools students are graduating from high school in ceremonies that continue through June 11. A variety of commencement speakers—ranging from local, state and national government officials to television news personalities, current teachers, a prize-winning author and a master storyteller—are addressing the graduating seniors. This year's graduates entering college have been awarded almost $150 million in scholarships.
Graduates of the Superintendent’s Leadership Program were honored May 27. During the past year, students in the humanities-oriented leadership and career development program have spent 15 hours a week in professional internships.
The Hispanic Employees Association of MCPS and the MCPS Asian American Education Association (AAEA) awarded scholarships to students at recent events. Six students won scholarships at the Distinguished Hispanic Scholars Awards Ceremony for their leadership and academic excellence. At its Flavors of Asia celebration, held in May during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, AAEA awarded scholarships to six students who are committed to becoming teachers.
A total of 318 ESOL students were honored at Awards Day ceremonies earlier this month. Former Senator Ida Ruben continued her annual tradition of presenting trophies acknowledging the students’ achievement in learning English. Plaques also were presented to Principal Sean Bulson (Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS) and ESOL teachers Cindy Spoon (Sligo Creek ES), Carmen Nakassis (Tilden MS) and Elizabeth Fuhrman (Quince Orchard HS) and Supervisor of ESOL Instruction Lois Wions.
All MCPS schools can participate in Drive for Supplies, which encourages students to donate used, but usable, school supplies. Throughout June, participating schools collect the supplies, which are sorted at a central location by student volunteers during the summer. Nonprofit organizations that benefit children or individual families may pick up the supplies after the Drive for Supplies celebration and press conference July 28, 10 a.m., at Richard Montgomery High School.
MCPS has the third highest graduation rate among the nation’s 50 largest school districts, according to the Diplomas Count 2008 study just published by Education Week. Nearly 82 out of 100 MCPS seniors (81.7 percent) graduate with a regular diploma, compared with a national average of 71 percent and a Maryland average of 73.6 percent. The study used 2005 data, the most recent available nationwide.