On Friday, March 15, 2013, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett released his Fiscal Year 2014 Operating Budget recommendation. The County Executive recommends funding Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) at the minimum funding level required by state law, but recommends that the Board use $10 million of its fund balance for additional investments.
Christopher S. Barclay, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, and Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, released the following statements regarding the County Executive’s recommendation:
“For the past several years, the Board of Education has been keenly aware of the fiscal challenges facing the county and has been a partner in helping our county leaders through these difficult economic times. As a result, since FY 2009, the county’s investment in education has been cut by nearly $1,500 per student. I appreciate the County Executive’s recognition that we must invest in the future of our school system, but I am disappointed that he chose not to put in additional county dollars beyond the minimum funding floor."
“Clearly, County Executive Isiah Leggett understands the need to continue investing in our staff and students. I am disappointed that he is not investing county dollars above the minimum funding level, but rather asking MCPS to use money it has set aside to ensure the long-term financial stability of our school district. If the budget recommendation is passed by the County Council, this would be the fifth year in a row that the MCPS budget would be at or below the funding floor (maintenance of effort). The Board and I have asked for about one half of one percent (0.5%) above the minimum to fund efforts that would go directly toward narrowing the achievement gap and preparing our staff and students for the future. As we discuss the budget with the community and the County Council in the coming weeks, it is my hope that they will see the value of the county making additional strategic investments in our school system.”