Board Approves Resolution on Non-recommended Cuts, Reaffirms Support for FY 2009 Operating Budget Funding
Resolution Requests the County Council to Close the Gap between the Requested Budget and Spending Affordability Guidelines
The Board of Education met on Monday, April 28, and among other items, approved a resolution on non-recommended reductions to the Fiscal Year 2009 operating budget request and appointed seven administrators. In addition, the Board reviewed the work of the Study Circles program and reconstituted the Special Education Ad Hoc Committee. The Board also reviewed a summary of the 2008 regular session of the Maryland General Assembly and approved the observance of National Volunteer Week, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Teacher Appreciation Week.
FY 2009 Operating Budget: Non-recommended Reductions
The Board approved a resolution on non-recommended budget reductions stating that if the County Council requires major reductions to the FY 2009 Operating Budget request, significant cuts would be made in a range of teacher and staff positions. The County Council has required a list of reductions that reflect the Council's recently-adopted Spending Affordability Guidelines. The current budget guidelines adopted by the Council recommend $105 million less than the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) budget request.
The Board reaffirmed its support for the implementation of negotiated agreements with its employee associations, funding for the Early Success Performance Plan, expansion of middle school reform initiatives, continuation of the Middle School Magnet Consortium, and expansion of hours-based staffing for special education in middle schools. The non-recommended reductions, if required by the County Council, would reduce a variety of positions in the state categories of administration, mid-level administration, instructional salaries, special education, operation of plant and equipment, and maintenance of plant. A copy of the Board's resolution, which will be sent to the county executive and County Council, emphasizes the direct and serious effect on schools that reductions of this magnitude would have. The exact number and type of position cuts would depend on the amount of reductions made by the County Council in each state category.
The Board approved the following administrative appointments:
Suzanne A. Maxey, currently principal, Seneca Valley High School, as consulting principal, Office of Organizational Development.
Nancy L. Erdrich, currently principal intern, Goshen Elementary School, as principal, Burning Tree Elementary School.
Niki T. Hazel, currently principal, East Silver Spring Elementary School, as principal, Gaithersburg Elementary School.
Gail M. West, currently principal intern, Bannockburn Elementary School, as principal, Brooke Grove Elementary School.
Linda E. Ferrell, currently acting director, Middle School Instruction, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs, as director, Middle School Instruction, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs.
Rebecca L. Nelson, currently instructional specialist, Middle School Instruction and Achievement, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs, as coordinator of special initiatives, Office of the Chief Technology Officer.
Lyn Schaefer, currently director of test development, General Education Development Testing Service, Washington, DC, as coordinator of student assessment, Testing Unit, Office of Shared Accountability.
Continuing the Dialogue on Race: Study Circles
The Board discussed the ways that the Study Circles program, piloted in 2001 and implemented in 2003, has been addressing the school system's strategic goal to strengthen family-school relationships and continues to expand civic, business, and community partnerships that support improved student achievement. Parents, students, and staff meet with facilitators to discuss racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and develop action plans for change. There have been Study Circles comprising students only and others conducted in Spanish. A two-year study of the program by the Office of Shared Accountability shows that the dialogues created by this program strengthen schools, engage parents, and empower students. The Department of Communications' Division of Family and Community Partnerships has facilitated 87 Study Circles with approximately 1,300 participants.
Reconstituting the Special Education Ad Hoc Committee
The Board voted to reconstitute the Special Education Ad Hoc Committee into a standing committee that will be renamed the Committee on Special Populations. The committee will be charged with reviewing issues and instructional programs relating to the needs of populations that require special education services, gifted and talented instruction, alternative programs, ESOL services, and multilingual supports.
Summary of the 2008 Regular Session of the Maryland General Assembly
The Board discussed a summary of the legislation passed at the 2008 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The Board took a position on 87 bills relating to education. A synopsis of the bills and action taken is available on the Board of Education web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org./boe/
National Volunteer Week
The Board approved the observance of National Volunteer Week from April 27 through May 3 in recognition of the more than 30,000 parents, students, and community members whose volunteer efforts provide positive experiences for students.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
The Board passed a resolution proclaiming May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, recognizing Asian Pacific American students, staff, businesses, and community leaders for their significant contributions to the community.
Teacher Appreciation Week
The Board approved the observance of Teacher Appreciation Week from May 4 through 10, recognizing and thanking the teachers in Montgomery County Public Schools for their contributions to excellence in education. Tuesday, May 6, is designated as Teacher Appreciation Day.
Board of Education: Mrs. Nancy Navarro, president. Ms. Shirley Brandman, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Sharon Cox, Dr. Judy Docca, Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, and Mr. Ben Moskowitz, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.
The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected county-wide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.