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Overview of the Role of the Board of Education and its work

What is the Role of the Board of Education?

The Montgomery County Board of Education is a unit of local government that determines the policy, budget, leadership, and administration within Montgomery County Public Schools. While the superintendent runs the day-to-day operations of the school system, the Board of Education’s role is to have oversight of these operations and the superintendent, and provide leadership and direction.


It is the Board of Education’s responsibility to formulate and interpret policy for MCPS. Through policy, the Board of Education sets expectations for the school system and ensures the school system is complying with federal and state laws. Policymaking is done in collaboration with the community, who is invited to give input through public comment. The Board of Education also establishes school boundaries.

Hiring and Evaluating the Superintendent

A school’s superintendent is the chief executive officer of the Board of Education and oversees the implementation of the Board's vision for MCPS schools. The school board also hires the deputy superintendent, who supports the superintendent in their role of managing educators and other school staff members.

The Board of Education adopted an evaluation tool for the superintendent of schools that takes into account the performance of the entire system, as well as specific goals and objectives that the Board and superintendent have set for the year.

Approving and adopting budgets

The Board of Education controls the annual budget allocated to MCPS from the state and county, and decides how to spend that money. They are responsible for approving and adopting the annual budget and delegating funds towards school-day operations and capital projects.

Legal Oversight

The Board of Education also makes decisions on educational, budgetary, facility, and financial matters that impact the reputation of the school system and may include the authorization of legal settlements. It acts in a quasi-judicial capacity, in particular in deciding appeals.

Approving curriculums

The Board of Education is responsible for establishing curriculum guides and courses of study. This includes deciding textbooks that the county will use.

Assessing compliance with policy standards

The Board of Education is expected to monitor the performance of MCPS schools. This performance is measured against performance markers set by the Board of Education.

Setting the school calendar

The Board of Education sets the calendar for the school year, including beginning and end dates.

Community advocacy

As an elected body, the Board of Education is considered a leader in their community, and, as such advocates for the community's educational needs.

The powers and mandatory duties of the Board of Education are defined in the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Title 13A of the Code of Maryland Regulations.

Who is the Board of Education?

The Montgomery County Board of Education is made up of seven county residents elected by voters to serve a four-year term, and a student representative elected by secondary school students to serve a one-year term. Board members are elected countywide but either serve the district in which they reside or the entire County as at-large members.

The members of the Board of Education are elected citizens, which enables people who are passionate about education to participate in the public education process. As elected officials, their role is to consult with parents, staff, community members and other elected officials to provide direction for the school system.

How Does the Board of Education Do its Oversight Work?

The Board of Education does its work through a series of Standing Committees. In MCPS there are five standing committees. These committees report out in Board of Education meetings.

The Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Committee has oversight of communication and engagement practices to ensure the school system is communicating effectively to its diverse stakeholders.

The Fiscal Management Review Committee has oversight of issues pertaining to the management and audit of MCPS’ fiscal, capital, and human resources, including the Board’s operating budget, the Capital Improvements Program, staffing plans, and allocations.

The Policy Management Committee works with the superintendent and staff to develop policy to present to the full Board.

The Special Populations Committee has oversight of instructional programs designed to meet the needs of special populations. This includes special education services, gifted and talented instruction, alternative programs, ESOL services, and multilingual support.

The Strategic Planning Committee provides oversight for the long-range direction of the school system. This includes evaluating approaches to long-range planning, and making strategic planning recommendations to the full Board.

Part of the Board of Education’s work as elected officials is to consult with parents, staff, community members and other elected officials to provide direction for the school system. To do this, the Board of Education appoints advisory committee members that represent these groups to a series of advisory committees. The general public may attend the committee meetings but may not participate in discussions.

  • Ethics Panel
  • Collaboration Board for Career and Technology Education
  • District Committee on Assessments

Board of Education Meetings and Participation

The Board of Education usually conducts two business meetings per month, except for the months of August and December during which the Board is in recess, as well as the months in which the Board of Education holds hearings on its capital and operating budgets. These meetings are open to the public and can be viewed online.