School System to Cover Facility Rental Costs for All 2007 High School Graduations
Montgomery Blair High School will hold its commencement ceremony at the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland this June. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will pay for the cost of the Comcast rental for the Blair ceremony and also for Sherwood High School, which had already arranged to hold its commencement ceremony at Comcast. In addition, MCPS will cover the facility rental costs this year for the remaining high schools that use DAR Constitution Hall and other venues.
In a memo to the Board of Education today, Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said, “I have identified the necessary additional funds, approximately $125,000, within the FY 2007 operating budget to pay the full costs for all graduation venues being used in 2007.”
Plans also are in process to make changes in graduation funding allowances to schools in future years. The current standard subsidy is $2,200 for each school.
“I am preparing an amendment to my FY 2008 operating budget that will include the Comcast Center as a venue option for a limited number of large high schools while ensuring that funding provided to all high schools is equitable,” said Weast.
The Comcast Center was identified by the Blair PTSA as an appropriate alternative venue in their appeal to the Board of Education to hold graduation ceremonies at Jericho City of Praise. The Blair graduation is now scheduled at the Comcast Center for 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 4, 2007.
Sherwood High School’s commencement also is scheduled for June 4 at the Comcast Center. Sherwood initially agreed to a contract price of $37,000 for using the Comcast Center for its graduation, for which MCPS was providing the standard $2,200 subsidy. The school was in the process of raising the necessary funds to make up that difference. Because the two ceremonies are taking place the same day, a reduced fee for the two schools is being negotiated with Comcast.