The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Wednesday, February 17, and, among other items, adopted the FY 2011 Operating Budget. The Board also reviewed an update on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, took final action on two policies, approved preliminary plans for a Downcounty Consortium elementary school reopening project, and recommended positions on education legislation.
FY 2011 Operating Budget Adoption
The Board approved a $2.263 billion operating budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2011. The budget proposal funds no new initiatives but, as the state's "maintenance of effort" provision requires, maintains the same level of local per-student funding for FY 2011 as the district received for the current school year. Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill said, “Today is just the first step in a journey that will not end until June.”
Update on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
The Board reviewed an update on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), an approach that has successfully used a systematic, team-based process to encourage and support positive student behavior. MCPS joined the PBIS Maryland Initiative in the 2006–2007 school year. Of the 47 schools that implemented PBIS in 2008–2009, 98 percent showed a decrease in the rate of out-of-school suspensions compared with the previous school year, and 29 showed a 50 percent or greater decrease in out-of-school suspensions compared with the year before implementing PBIS. “I am encouraged by the work we are doing to create and maintain a school culture that is conducive to achieving academic excellence,” said Board of Education Vice President Christopher Barclay. “Our teachers have positive tools so they can work with students to develop a classroom climate that nourishes and supports our students' success.”
Final Action, Policy ECK, Use of Smith Center for Non-MCPS Groups
The Board adopted Policy ECK, Use of Smith Center by Non-Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Groups, following a period of public comment. The policy authorizes the superintendent of schools to permit the use of the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Center by nonprofit groups.
Final Action, Policy GFC, Reassignment of Personnel After 25 Years of Service or Age 50
The Board voted to rename Policy GFC to “Reassignment of Employees Within Two Years of Normal Retirement Eligibility” and adopted the updated policy, following a period for public comment. The revised policy sets forth the guidelines for maintaining salary and retirement benefit levels for personnel who are transferred or assigned to positions with a lower salary classification, especially within two years of retirement.
Preliminary Plans for Downcounty Consortium #29 Elementary School (McKenney Hills Center) Reopening Project
The Board approved the preliminary plan report consisting of a schematic design in accordance with educational specifications for the Downcounty Consortium #29 Elementary School (McKenney Hills Center) Reopening Project. A facility advisory committee, consisting of staff and community representatives from Oakland Terrace and Woodlin elementary schools, provided input for the proposed design.
Recommended Positions on Education Legislation
The Board approved positions on proposed legislation that would impact the school system. Areas of the legislation include collective bargaining, the budget, health insurance, reporting, and student-related areas including curriculum, enrollment, graduation, health, and special education.
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Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, president; Mr. Christopher Barclay, vice president. Members: Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Ms. Shirley Brandman, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, and Mr. Timothy Hwang, 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 countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.