February 12, 2014
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board approved a Fiscal Year 2015 Operating Budget request for Montgomery County Public Schools, began the process for the naming of a new elementary school in the Clarksburg cluster and discussed MCPS’ organizational effectiveness. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You can also watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.
FY 2015 Operating Budget Request
The Board of Education approved a $2.32 billion Operating Budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The Board’s request represents a 4 percent increase over this year, and will allow the district to focus on managing growth, narrow achievement gaps, and invest in the future of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and its students and staff. The request is 2.3 percent above the funding floor required by state law.
The Board’s budget request represents a $51.7 million increase over the current FY 2014 budget, and the majority of that increase will allow MCPS to provide the same level of services to a growing number of students and will fund increased compensation costs. The budget also includes about $12.4 million in strategic enhancements, including funds to improve student support services, increase technology, grow community partnerships, and foster teacher leadership. Several of these investments are aimed directly at narrowing the achievement gap, such as the addition of 15 high school focus teachers to lower class sizes in reading and mathematics; additional staff to improve services to English Language Learners in middle schools; and the addition of two prekindergarten classes to serve low-income students.
The Board’s budget request will be submitted to the Montgomery County Executive and the County Council. The County Executive is expected to release his FY 2015 Operating Budget recommendation in mid-March. The County Council will hold public hearings prior to approving a final MCPS budget in May.
Read the Board item
View the budget amendments
Naming of Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School
The Board of Education began the process for naming a new elementary school in the Clarksburg cluster by submitting four names for consideration. The new elementary school will open in August 2014 in the Clarksburg Village community. The principal of the new school will lead the school naming process, which will involve a group of community members. The naming committee may consider the Board’s suggestions and also consider other names. Pursuant to Policy FFA, Naming School Facilities, the final responsibility for naming a school rests with the Board of Education. The four names the Board submitted for consideration are Frederick Douglass, JoAnn “Jody” Leleck, Nelson Mandela, and Harriet Tubman.
Read the regulation on naming school facilities
The Board of Education received an update and held a discussion on organizational effectiveness in MCPS. Organizational effectiveness is the foundation of the district’s Strategic Planning Framework, Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff and Community. It represents how MCPS central services works collaboratively and strategically to support schools and students. Central service offices strive to provide high-quality services that are essential to the educational success of students and schools. The goals of Organizational Effectiveness milestone in the Strategic Planning Framework are:
· Engage collaboratively and respectfully with all partners, building a self-renewing learning community that reflects our values
· Provide the highest quality business operations and support services that are essential to the educational success of all students.
· Organize and optimize resources, including effective use of technology and sustainable practices
· Establish strategic processes for operational excellence, customer service, and shared accountability that support teaching and learning
· Hire for excellence and build capacity of all staff
· Promote effective two-way communication
Read the Board Memo
Fiscal Year 2015 Summer School Fees
The Board of Education approved summer school fees for the coming summer, keeping the fees at the same level as FY 2014. The Summer School Revenue-based Program full fees remain at $335 for elementary courses, $300 for high school core courses, and $310 for high school online courses, including student online learning. Reduced fees will remain at $85 or $120, depending on family income.
MCPS will provide Summer School programs for intervention, enrichment and acceleration of academic instruction for MCPS students through four elementary regional centers, four high school regional centers, and local school programs.
Read the Board Item
Positions on Education Legislation
The Board discussed several pieces of legislation that are currently being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. Among the legislation the Board supports are: a bill that would enforce indoor air quality standards for new construction of relocatable classrooms starting July 1, 2014; a bill that limits the imposition of the state’s teacher evaluation system on those districts where there is mutually agreed-upon criteria; a bill that ensures parents understand the special education process and the array of services available through the school system; and a bill that expands the list of offenses for which a law enforcement agency is required to report to a school system the arrest of one of its students. The Board opposed other pieces of legislation, including those that would dictate curricular and operational issues that are the purview of the local Board of Education.
Read the Board positions
Other Action: The Board also took action on several items, including:
-Approved preliminary plans for the Julius West Middle School Addition Project
-Approved preliminary plans for the Wood Acres Elementary School Addition Project
Resolution: The Board approved the following resolution:
-A resolution recognizing National School Counseling Week 2014 in Montgomery County Public Schools
The Board’s Strategic Planning Committee will meet on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. (The snow date for the Strategic Planning Committee meeting is Tuesday, February 18 at 10 a.m.) The Policy Management Committee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. The Board’s next regular business meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 24, with public items scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
About the Board of Education
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.
Montgomery County Board of Education: Mr. Philip Kauffman, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Shirley Brandman, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Justin Kim, student member. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.