Management, Budget, and Planning → FY 2013 Budget Questions and Answers

FY 2014 Budget Questions and Answers

During the budget process, questions asked by members of the Board of Education are compiled. Appropriate staff from Montgomery County Public Schools answer the questions as soon as all information has been gathered to respond in full. The questions and answers are also made available to the public on this website.

Answers to other budget questions may be requested from the Department of Management, Budget, and Planning through our ask a budget question form.

1. What is the cost to add hours-based staffing at the remaining seven middle schools?

Budget page reference: 5-29

The Superintendent's FY 2013 Recommended Operating Budget includes $170,589 to begin the phase-in of hours-based staffing at the seven remaining middle schools that do not have it over a three-year period. To provide hours-based staffing to all seven middle schools in FY 2013 would cost a total of $773,792, and would require that $603,203 be added to the budget.

2. Please clarify why the Early Intervening Services charts on pages 1-10 and 1-11 have no FY 2012 or FY 2013 information.

Budget page reference: 1-10 and 1-11

The Early Intervening Services project was supported in FY 2010 and FY 2011 by a grant from the United States Department of Education through the Maryland Stated Department of Education under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This grant terminated after FY 2011. Early intervening services are required under IDEA to prevent identification of students for special education. In FY 2012, there was a shift of 15.0 reading recovery teacher positions from the grant to the elementary schools budget, and a subsequent cut of 8.0 positions as part of the final action on the budget.

3. On page 1-16 it states that there is a realignment of $483,262 from the middle school-after school activities budget to the Department of Transportation. Similarly, page 1-23 states that there is a realignment of $294,538 from high school after-school activities budget to the Department of Transportation budget. Please explain. What impact this will have on after-school offerings?

Budget page reference: 1-16 and 1-23

There is no impact on after-school offerings as a result of the realignment from the middle and high schools after-school activities budget to the Department of Transportation. This technical change shifts the after-school activities transportation funds from the K-12 budget to the Department of Transportation where funds are managed.

4. On page 1-16 (Enrollment Changes) it states that there is a decrease of 1.6 classroom teacher positions due to a projected decrease in enrollment of 36 middle school students. By contrast, on page 1-23, it states that there is a reduction of .1 classroom teacher position due to a projected decrease in enrollment of 60 high school students. Please explain the reason for the difference in number of reduced positions given that there is a greater decrease in high school enrollment.

Budget page reference: 1-16

While it is logical to assume that changes in enrollment impact position changes in the same manner for all levels, there are some factors that impact only the calculation for high schools. One factor is that the calculation for classroom teachers is based on the enrollment of general education students as well as special education students included for 80 percent of the day (LRE A students). Another factor is that the high school calculation includes an additional calculation for Grade 9 enrollment in the Downcounty Consortium (DCC) based on those class sizes. In addition, in high schools, adjustments are made for inclusion of LRE B and LRE C students. Also, the FY 2012 staffing formulas were adjusted slightly for FY 2013 to address increases in class sizes that were a result of budget cuts in FY 2012. As a result of these factors, although the overall enrollment decrease for high school students is 60, there is a reduction of only a .1 classroom teacher position.

5. Page 1-24 indicates that our projected FY 13 student/counselor ratio is 251:1 whereas our goal is a ratio of 250:1. How many additional counselors (at what cost) would it take to meet our goal in FY 2013?

Budget page reference: 1-24

An additional .5 FTE and $24,998 would need to be added to the budget to achieve the 250:1 ratio.

6. Provide information on the backlog for maintenance work orders and how work is prioritized and addressed.

Budget page reference: Chapter 6 - 77

The Division of Maintenance receives and processes about 60,000 to 65,000 customer-generated work orders per fiscal year. Of the total received, approximately 95 percent are completed, and about five percent are cancelled or denied for various reasons.

The total number of work orders in progress at any given time (approved and waiting to be performed by the maintenance trade shops) is referred to as backlog. The actual backlog of open work orders at any given time of year will vary among the respective trade shops, but collectively averages about 10 percent of the total number of work orders being processed.

Every MCPS school is aligned with one of three maintenance depots: Bethesda, Clarksburg, or Randolph -- and submits electronic work orders directly to them. The depots each receive 80-140 new work orders per day, depending on the time of year. The three maintenance depots process and assign priorities to incoming work orders based on urgency of need and the potential impact on the school and its occupants. Serious facility emergencies are assigned the highest priority and performed immediately, day or night, as quickly as maintenance staff members can respond. Conversely, minor problems that have little or no impact on the schools are assigned a lower priority and scheduled for performance as soon as practicable.

Limited staff size at the various trade shops, position vacancies, personnel available for duty on any given day, high demand for work, and changing priorities combine to limit how quickly maintenance staff can respond to a specific facility problem. Work that has already been scheduled can often be interrupted by newly arriving work orders that are determined to be more critical. For example, during the typically high-demand air conditioning (A/C) season, a school with no A/C in one or two rooms may have to wait until mechanics can service another school with no A/C in an entire wing of the facility. The annual A/C season, characterized by multiple and concurrent demands for repair services, combined with a limited number of available A/C mechanics can create a frustrating experience for customers and mechanics alike.

The Division of Maintenance is committed to providing the highest level and quality of service commensurate with available resources. All schools are encouraged to maintain regular, collaborative working relationships with their respective supporting maintenance depots as a means to get the best possible service and to better appreciate the constraints in maintenance services that occur during the year.

7. Are there any budgetary barriers to putting Curriculum 2.0 for Kindergarten and Grade 1 online for parents to access?

Budget page reference: 4-62

Parents and community members currently have access to Curriculum 2.0 information and content through the Montgomery County Public Schools website. Parent guides in multiple languages, informational videos, marking period by marking period content overviews, definitions and examples of the thinking and academic success skills, the curriculum framework, and frequently asked questions are among the information available. During the 2012-2013 school year, work will be undertaken to expand parent access to information and curriculum content through a parent portal on MyMCPS. At this time, there are no budgetary barriers to completing this work.

8. What is the cost to add a Middle Schools IB Programme at Watkins Mill cluster middle schools?

Budget page reference: 4-25

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a Grade 6 through Grade 10 framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers. Costs vary from year-to-year based on the number of staff requiring professional development and the IB fees charged. Adding a MYP at Montgomery Village or Neelsville middle schools for FY 2013 would cost $116,719. This consists of $64,844 for substitutes, professional part-time salaries, travel, registration costs, and instructional materials. A .8 classroom teacher position, including employee benefits, would cost $51,875

Other program and cost configurations for adding Middle Years Programmes to the Watkins Mill cluster are indicated in items 2, 3, and 4 in the table below.

  

Program Configuration 

FTE/ Annual Cost 

1.

MYP at only Montgomery Village Middle School or Neelsville Middle School

0.8 / $116,719

2.

MYP at Montgomery Village Middle School and Neelsville Middle School

1.6 / $233,438

3.

MYP at Watkins Mill High School (Grades 9 and 10)
(.6 Coordinator)

0.6 / $71,270

4.

MYP at Montgomery Village Middle School, Neelsville Middle School, and Watkins Mill High School

2.2 / $304,708

IB has an application process that typically takes two years to complete. To demonstrate readiness for the program, schools are required to show commitment to the IB philosophy, professional development, curriculum and assessment, and financial support from the school district administration and school board.

9. What is the cost to add Middle School Reform courses at non-Middle School Reform schools?

Budget page reference: 1-12 and 4-10

The Middle School Reform (MSR) Initiative includes a variety of core academic courses, elective courses, and elective pathways. The core academic courses in Science, English, and World Studies are available to all 38 middle schools. The electives and elective pathways were restricted to the Phase I and Phase II MSR schools, the Middle School Magnet Consortium (MSMC), and other selected middle schools. Due to budgetary restrictions, expansion of the electives to other middle schools was discontinued.

The electives are categorized as independent courses that can be taken separately or linked with other courses to form a program pathway. There are eight independent elective courses that are not affiliated with a pathway, and they range in cost from $700 to $30,000 per course. There are four pathways consisting of three courses each that are offered in grades 6, 7, and 8. The approximate cost of each pathway, including the three courses for grades 6, 7 and 8, are listed below.

  • Dance Pathway ($4,000)
  • Website Pathway ($8,800)
  • Arts Pathway ($16,300)
  • Engineering Pathway ($23,000)

In addition to the costs listed above, there are expenses for facilities modifications that vary depending on the courses implemented and the space available in a given school. To determine the exact cost to implement each elective course or pathway, technology requirements, professional development expectations, annual recurring costs of instructional materials and textbooks, and the eventual replacement of equipment must be considered.

10. List the ten schools that have the highest number of copier service calls and days out-of-service.

Budget page reference: N/A

Staff maintains extensive data from the TeamWorks copier service program concerning the performance of the 276 high-volume copiers located in schools. While data indicating the number of out-of-service hours is not collected, the figures below show the 10 schools with the highest number of service calls placed in the first two quarters of FY 2012 and averages by school level by fiscal year.

School Service Calls Copies Made Copies per Service Call*
Magruder HS 66 2,275,754 34,481
Sherwood HS 64 2,567,111 40,111
Gaithersburg HS 55 2,297,480 41,772
Watkins Mill HS 51 1,918,002 37,608
Northwood HS 37 1,311,322 35,441
Blake HS 35 2,230,715 63,735
Takoma Park MS 31 1,376,006 44,387
Banneker MS 29 1,155,311 39,838
Paint Branch HS 28 2,018,859 72,102
Jackson Road ES 28 716,189 25,578
 
Average HS 29 2,064,291 71,698
Average MS 19 1,064,414 56,491
Average ES 11 629,449 58,647

Annual system-wide performance data also is collected and data for FY 2010, FY 2011, and for the first two quarters of FY 2012 is shown below.

Fiscal Year Service Calls Copies Made Copies per Service Call
FY 2010 7,065 354,516,193 50,179
FY 2011 6,727 352,166,712 52,326
FY 2012 2,861 173,889,717 60,779

It is important to note that service calls do not necessarily indicate copiers are fully dysfunctional. In addition, 95 percent of service calls are completed within 24 hours, and 50 percent are typically completed on the same day the service is requested.

*The relative performance of school copiers is best assessed by dividing the amount of printing produced on school copiers by the number of service calls placed by that school. Average Copies per Service Call is the industry standard for measuring copier performance.

11. What is the cost to provide a refrigerator for Flower Hill Elementary school? Provide information on the Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMA) program including whether or not having a refrigerator impacts participation in the MMA program.

Budget page reference: N/A

Schools with Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) eligibility of 40 percent or greater are eligible to participate in the Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) program. Whether or not a school has a refrigerator has no bearing on its eligibility. Every year in April, the Division of Food and Nutrition Services applies to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for all eligible schools. Currently, 80 schools are eligible based on the fact that 40 percent or more of their students are eligible for FARMS. However, MSDE determines the schools that will participate in the program based on available funding. At this time, MCPS has 31 participating schools: 27 elementary schools and 4 secondary schools.

The equipment needed depends on the particular facility. The cost of a refrigerator is $6,000 for a 2-door reach-in refrigerator. An additional milk cooler would be $3,500.

12. How are Alternative Level 1 staffing allocations determined?

Budget page reference: N/A

Alternative Program options are designed to provide academic and behavioral support to secondary students who have not been successful in the general education program. The goal of all of the Alternative Programs is to return the student to a comprehensive school as soon as possible.

Level 1 Alternative Programs are available for students who are experiencing academic and/or behavioral difficulties and who are not demonstrating progress in response to prescribed instructional and/or behavioral interventions and strategies that have been provided in general education.

Each secondary school has staff members dedicated to the development and implementation of a school-based Level 1 Alternative Program. With ongoing direct instruction in these areas, as well as guidance and monitoring, students in these programs should be able to experience greater success and remain in the mainstream of school activities. The programs also are designed to support the student in his or her general education classes.

There is no staffing formula used to allocate positions to Alternative Level 1 programs at schools. The Alternative Level 1 staffing allocations are determined for individual middle and high schools based on a school’s historical Level 1 Alternative Program enrollment data throughout the school year, the school’s total enrollment of students, the number of student referrals made to a Level 2 Alternative Program at a school, the percentage of students at a school that are identified as ineligible, the percentage of students at a school that are identified as FARMS eligible, and a school’s drop-out rate.

Enrollment at each school’s Level 1 Alternative Program fluctuates throughout the school year as student’s transition in or out of the program based on individual student needs and movement to and from Level 2 and 3 Alternative Programs.

13. Provide information about the Title I program and how have Title I funds been used over the past five years?

Budget page reference: 1-37

Title I, Part A grant funds are used to provide supplemental programs, staffing, and support to elementary schools with the highest rates of poverty. The MCPS model for staffing and programming for Title I schools include the following:

  • Providing an equitable funding process to support elementary schools striving to achieve academic standards known as Adequate Yearly Progress.
  • Providing funding for family involvement and extended-year programming.
  • Implementing a full-day Head Start program in all Title I schools that have a Head Start program.

Title I school-based and family involvement allocations are based on the number of Free and Reduced-price Meals System (FARMS) students enrolled in the school as of October 31 of the previous year.

Schools may use allocated funds to:

  • hire additional focus teachers and paraeducators in support of the core academic program.
  • purchase supplemental instructional materials that are linked to the core academic areas of reading/language arts and mathematics and focus on the implementation of research-based instruction.
  • fund school-based activities in the following areas:
    • Professional Development–Title I schools identified for school improvement based on Maryland School Assessment results set aside 10 percent of their school allocation for professional development.  Title I schools that are not identified for school improvement may elect to set aside funds for professional development activities.
    • Schoolwide Initiatives–All Title I schools allocated up to 10 percent of their Title I school-based allocation to support schoolwide initiatives such as voluntary after-school curriculum planning meetings, consultants, or substitutes for grade-level, long-range planning meetings.
    • Family Involvement–Title I regulations require that a portion of the district’s Title I, Part A funds be set aside for family involvement programs and services. Family involvement funds may be used for No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB)required parent meetings and other outreach activities. Funds may be used to facilitate parent involvement in preparation of the School Improvement Plan.
    • Extended Day Programming–Title I schools may elect to allocate school-based funds for extended-day activities to support student achievement. Funds may be used to purchase materials that support academic sessions offered as a part of the extended-day program.
     

During the 2011–2012 school year, three Title I schools were identified for school improvement status.  As a result, they had to set aside 10 percent of their school-based allocation to address professional development needs of the staff. Additionally, all three schools were required to offer the public school choice option, a provision in which students enrolled in a school identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring are given the opportunity to attend another public school in the Local Education Agency (LEA).  To fulfill the guidelines of this requirement, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) set aside $156,000 to fund transportation for students transferring under this provision.

This school year MCPS as a system entered Year 1 of System Improvement status. Title I regulations require that districts in system improvement commit to set aside at least 10 percent of Title I, Part A funds to address the professional needs of the instructional staff serving the LEA.

The Title I, Part A, grant also funds the Title I summer program, Extended Learning Opportunities-Summer Adventures in Learning, (ELO SAIL) which provides a half-day academic program during the month of July for kindergarten through Grade 5 students enrolled in Title I schools.  In addition to the academic component, students receive free breakfast, lunch, and transportation to and from school. The academic program consists of literacy and mathematics lessons that preview the curriculum content for the upcoming school year at each grade level. This provides students with an opportunity to build on skills critical to academic success. The goals of the program include the following:

  • Accelerating learning by previewing grade-level concepts and skills.
  • Strengthening basic skills that are the prerequisites for later learning.
  • Alleviating the achievement loss experiences by students over the extended summer break.
  • Providing continuing English language instruction for second language learners.

ELO SAIL is funded through the Title I, Part A, allocation. These funds are centrally reserved, which means that these funds are not included in Title I schools’ per pupil allocations and that the funds are deducted from the Title I,Part A, allocation from Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).  School eligibility for ELO SAIL is determined by eligibility for the Title I program.  Typically, all Title I schools are eligible to participate in the ELO SAIL program, which starts at the beginning of July. (Due to the June 28, 2011, decision to maintain Title I status for Twinbrook and Burnt Mills elementary schools, as a result of additional federal funding, ELO SAIL could not be offered at these two schools.)

Identification as a Title I school is based upon the percentage of students eligible for the Free and Reduced-price Meals System (FARMS) at each school.  A rank order of schools based on FARMS rates is generated each year as of October 31. This ranking is used to create various options for funding of Title I schools based on the regulations of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. MCPS establishes the FARMS cut-off percentage when it decides how many schools it will serve. There are several factors that can result in a schools ineligibility or removal from the program.  The factors include:

  1. Fluctuating Free and Reduced-price Meals System rates.  Each year FARMS rankings fluctuate depending on enrollment and number of students eligible for the FARMS at each school.  This may result in schools being added or removed from Title I status.  Title I regulations state that districts must serve schools with Title I, Part A funds if the FARMS rate is at 75 percent or higher.  After identification of all schools with a FARMS rate at or above 75 percent, districts may serve lower-ranked schools in rank order.  In following this process MCPS establishes the FARMS cut-off percentage when it decides how many schools it will serve. 
  2. Maryland State Department of Education Funding.  Another determining factor for schools being removed from Title I status is funding from the MSDE.  In February 2011 the Board was notified that available Title I funding to support the Title I 23 schools for 2011-2012 school year.  These schools were those at or above the FARMS rate of 65.63 percent.  This was based on preliminary information received from the state that we should assume title I funding for FY 2012 would be the same as received in FY 2011.

Based upon the approval process, once schools are no longer Title I eligible, the Department of Title I Programs discontinues fiscal support and technical assistance to these schools.  MCPS makes decisions in regards to the type of support provided to schools for both Title I and ELO SAIL.

14. What formulas do other Maryland counties use to allocate psychologists?

Budget page reference: N/A

As shown below, Maryland school systems employ a range of practices and formulas for
allocating psychologists.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) 

AACPS allocates school psychologists to schools as follows:

FTE           Comprehensive Schools                                                                     
0.2             Elementary school with less than 600 students
0.4             Elementary school with 600 or more students
0.6             Middle school
1.0             High school

AACPS allocates an additional 0.2 FTE psychologist for regional special education programs, such as Multiple Intensive Needs Classes, and regional programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and students with Emotional Disabilities.

Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) 

BCPSS allocates a full-time school psychologist for every 850 students. 

Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) 

Since 2005, BCPS has included a 0.6 FTE school psychologist allocation in its operating budget whenever a new school opens. Baltimore County Public Schools does not allocate school psychologists to schools by a formula. 

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS)  

FCPS does not have a formula for allocating psychologists. 

Howard County Public Schools (HCPS) 

HCPS applies the following formula to allocate full-time equivalent (FTE) psychologists to schools and special education programs:   

FTE           Comprehensive Schools
0.4 - 0.5     Elementary school
0.5             Middle school
0.4             High school

FTE           Comprehensive Schools (Continued)
0.1             Elementary schools with more than 750 students; secondary schools with more than 1,500 students
0.1 – 0.4    Schools with identified or “targeted” need

FTE           Special Education Programs
0.1 - 0.4     Part C Regional Early Childhood Center (birth to age 3 years)
0.1             Multiple Intense Needs Program (MINC)
0.1 - 0.2     Local and regional Fundamental Life Skills programs
0.2 - 0.4     Local and regional Emotional Disability (ED) Program

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) 

MCPS does not have a staffing formula for psychologists.  For FY 2013, psychologists are budgeted as follows: 

Department of Special Education Services


Unit or School 

FTE 

Autism Unit

  1.5

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

  1.0

Developmental Evaluation Services for Children

  1.5

Emotional Disabilities Services

  8.0

Placement and Assessment Services

  2.5

Preschool Education Program

  2.5

Carl Sandburg

  1.0

Rock Terrace

  0.5

Subtotal 

18.5 

Department of Student Services


Unit 

FTE 

Bilingual Assessment Team

  5.0

Psychological Services

68.5

Subtotal 

73.5 

Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP)


Unit  

FTE 

Prekindergarten and Head Start

2.805

Subtotal 

2.805 

Grand Total 

94.805 

Psychologists budgeted within the Psychological Services Unit provide psychological services within the comprehensive schools.  The psychologists provide a broad range of consultation, assessment, counseling, intervention, and crisis services.  School assignments are based upon multiple factors including overall school enrollment, special education program enrollments  (e.g., Fundamental Life Skills and School/Community-based programs, etc.), psychological referral patterns, and geographic proximity of schools assigned to each psychologist. 

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) 

PGCPS does not have a staffing formula for psychologists

15. Please explain the role of the central office teacher? How will this impact instructional capacity within Alternative Programs?

Budget page reference: N/A

The role of the central office teacher for Alternative Programs, under the direction of the supervisor, assists in the planning and implementation of comprehensive programming to meet the unique and intense needs of students who have been referred from comprehensive schools or placed through the disciplinary process. In this capacity, the central office teacher applies knowledge of research in the area of alternative programs to develop and assist in implementing a strong instructional program to engage students in learning. The teacher supports staff in the seven alternative programs in guiding students through the learning process to meet their academic and behavior goals. In this capacity, the central office teacher applies knowledge and research to design intervention plans to address academic, truancy, and behavioral needs. Through the collaborative problem solving process and team meetings, the central office teacher leads interdisciplinary teams to develop and monitor intervention plans. The teacher works closely with the supervisor to analyze data, including the development, implementation, and monitoring of the Program Improvement Plan (PIP). The central office teacher also serves as the school test coordinator (STC) and student service learning (SSL) coordinator for the middle and high school alternative programs. The teacher also manages the budget and financial monitoring, including grants that support the programs. Critical to alternative programs are the responsibilities within the professional growth system, which include designing and providing staff development and staff observation and supervision.

Changing 2.0 12-month instructional specialist positions to 10-month central office teacher positions will not impact the ability to provide consistent support to students in the seven programs throughout the school year and during the summer. To ensure that there will be no impact, professional part-time funds are available to provide additional support. This recommendation was reviewed by the Associations, Deputy Superintendent, and Chief Operating Officer (ADC) committee and the committee agrees that the change is appropriate.

16. Staff has advised the BOE that MCPS would undertake a comprehensive look at various 12-month positions to determine which, if any, should be reduced to 10-month positions. Is this specific proposed reduction being recommended in the context of this budget review? What is the status of that larger review?

Budget page reference: N/A

A workgroup was formed this fall to review 12-month positions to determine if any should be changed to 10-month positions. The workgroup included each union’s executive director, other representatives from each employee organization, and MCPS staff. The workgroup implemented a process to review positions and gather input. This process included developing criteria and two stages of reviewing positions, an initial review to decide what positions would be excluded and a secondary review to gather data on the remaining positions.

During the initial review, a total of 1,082 different jobs were considered (182 administrators and supervisors, 79 MCEA other professionals, 49 MCBOA supervisors, and 772 supporting services positions). This resulted in a narrowed list of 145 jobs (11 administrators and supervisors, 68 MCEA other professionals, 3 MCBOA supervisors, and 63 supporting services positions) to be reviewed using identified criteria.

As a result of the second review, a list of positions was moved forward for consideration and further study by the Associations, Deputy Superintendent, and Chief Operating Officer Committee (ADC). The ADC has reviewed the positions and is currently discussing next steps. It is important to note that the review of the positions did not include meeting with individual employees who are in these positions. Supervisors and directors provided data, and job descriptions were used as a source. Before decisions can be made, the impact of the potential changes for employees, including salaries, must be considered. Also, if decisions to change work schedules are made, it will be essential to develop transition plans to minimize impact on employees.

In the FY 2013 Recommended Operating Budget, there is a reduction of 2.0 instructional specialist positions and a corresponding increase of 2.0 10-month central office teachers for Alternative Programs. This recommendation was reviewed by the committee and the committee agrees that the change is appropriate.

17. On page 1-31 there is a reference to projections for “decreased revenue” for Neglected and Delinquent Youth that necessitate a reduction in professional part-time salaries. Please explain.

Budget page reference: 1-31

Funding for the Neglected and Delinquent Youth program originates at the federal level and is awarded to MCPS via the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Because the preliminary estimate from MSDE for FY 2013 is not available, the amount received for FY 2012 is the basis for the FY 2013 estimate. The amount received for FY 2012 is $54,313 less than the amount budgeted for FY 2012. Therefore, there is revenue failure of $54,313 this year, and the FY 2013 budget of $137,644 is reduced by $54,313.

There is a reduction of $18,053 for professional part-time salaries that are currently used to provide instructional services at the Montgomery County Correctional facility and to pay for student incentives for increased attendance and academic achievement. In addition, there is a reduction of $34,234 for contractual services used for social worker interns, school liaisons, and outdoor programs. A reduction of $2,026 for field trip transportation also will be required although the locally-funded budget for Alternative Programs will be sufficient to cover this cost.

18. The budget on Page 1-23 identifies a reduction to the High School Plus program. Please provide the cost of the program and enrollment numbers for High School Plus over the past two years and explain how the reduction will impact the number of students we can serve. Is data available on what the cost was for the last year that night school operated?

Budget page reference: 1-23

The chart below shows the enrollment, budget, and actual/projected expenditures for the High School Plus program, including the Twilight program, for FY 2010 through FY 2013.

Enrollment & Budget for the
High School Plus Program

(including the Twilight program)

 

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

FY 2013

Enrollment 

Actual
5,124 

Actual
4,469 

Budgeted
4,390 

Budgeted
4,400 

Budget

Actual Expenditures

$1,861,060

 

$1,204,847

$1,509,060

 

$1,094,716

$1,509,060

 

$1,141,681
(projected)

$1,289,219

 

The FY 2013 recommended budget for High School Plus is $1,289,219, a decrease of $219,841 from the FY 2012 budget.  As indicated in the chart above, actual spending has been lower than the amount budgeted.  Based on the projection for this year, the amount budgeted for FY 2013 still leaves funding available for growth in the number of students.

The High School Plus program enables students who have failed courses to retake the courses for credit recovery.  The classes meet beyond the school day typically for 100 minutes per day, two days per week.  Students may take only one course per semester or no more than 2 courses in a school year.

The High School Plus program benefits the students it serves as it offers small class sizes and student-focused instruction. In FY 2011, over 60 percent of the students enrolled in a High School Plus course obtained credit through the program. 

The cost of the last Evening High School Program in FY 2007 was $1,185,334.  This amount included costs for administrators, substitutes, special education paraeducators, media specialists, ICB costs, and employee benefits.  If the same program were to be implemented in FY 2012, taking into consideration compensation changes since FY 2007, the cost of the program would be $1,342,659.

19. A reduction to the Bridge to Academic Validation program is noted on the budget on page 4-13. Are these reductions based on anticipated decreases in student enrollment? Are we expecting a decrease in Bridge program projects due to the elimination of the Government HSA requirement?

Budget page reference: 4-10

There is a reduction of $9,000 for the Bridge to Academic Validation program for FY 2013. The budget reduction can be made as a result of a decrease in the number of Bridge Plan projects due to the elimination of both the Government HSA test and Government Bridge Plan.

20. On page 4-42 there is reference to a reduction for the Perkins Vocational and Technical Education grant. Please explain the nature of the reduction and describe the likely impact.

Budget page reference: 4-42

The Perkins Career and Technology (formerly Vocational and Technical) Education grant funding was reduced by the U.S. Congress. The decrease of $128,679 for FY 2013 will result in a delay of some curriculum development, postpone equipment purchases, reduce the number of teachers that will be able to participate in professional development, and eliminate funding for part-time salaries, associated employee benefits, and office supplies. Instructional programs in schools will continue as planned and services to students will not be impacted.

21. On page 5–29 there are reductions indicated for teacher and paraeducator positions at Rock Terrace and RICA. Please explain the enrollment projections upon which these reductions are based and offer an assessment of the likely impact on our ability to provide services.

Budget page reference: 5-29

The FY 2013 Operating Budget for the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA) includes a reduction of 2.0 teacher and 2.5 paraeducator positions. The projected enrollment for RICA for FY 2013 is 101 students. The staffing ratio for RICA is currently 9 students to 1 teacher (9:1), and 1.25 paraeducators to 1 teacher position (1.25:1). This year, RICA is allocated 20.0 teacher and 19.25 paraeducator positions. Based strictly on the projected FY 2013 enrollment and the staffing ratio, RICA should be allocated 11.0 teacher and 14.0 paraeducator positions. However, it was determined that any additional reduction of positions in a single year would impact staff and students at the school.

The FY 2013 budget for Rock Terrace School is based on the projected enrollment of 109 students. The staffing ratio for Rock Terrace is 8studentsto 1 teacher (8:1) and 1paraeducator to 1 teacher position (1:1). This year, Rock Terraceisallocated18.25 teacher and 17.25 paraeducator positions. Based on the projected enrollment and the staffing ratio, Rock Terrace should be allocated 13.6 teachers and 13.6 paraeducators. The FY 2013 budgeted reduction of2.15 teacher and 1.15 paraeducator positions will more closely align Rock Terrace’s staffing allocation to the established ratio while still providing flexibility in the staffs’ schedules to meet the needs of students.

22. The budget chart of page 5-31 indicates an increase of 7.4 special education itinerant paraeducators. Please discuss this proposed increase and address whether there is a parallel need to increase itinerant teachers. Please explain the rationale in determining how to allocate any increases between paraeducators and teachers.

Budget page reference: 5-19 and 5-31

The increase of 7.4 locally-funded itinerant paraeducator positions shown on page 5-31 is offset by a decrease of 7.4 grant-funded itinerant paraeducatorpositions shown on page 5-19, a result of a projected revenue decrease in the Medical Assistance Program for FY 2013. There is no change in the total number of positions; only a shiftof positions from the grant to the locally-funded budget.

For budget and staffing purposes, ratios drive the relationship between permanent teachers and paraeducators. For example in the Bridge program, the staffing ratio is 9 students to 1 teacher (9:1). The ratio of paraeducators to teachers is 1.25 paraeducators to a 1.0 teacher (1:1.25). There is no relationship between the allocation of itinerant paraeducatorsand teachers. Itinerant paraeducators usually are assigned to work directly with individual students as mandated on the IEP.

23. On page 6-9 of the budget there is a reference in part-time salaries related to the Kennedy Cluster program. Please discuss the likely impact by updating the current status of the Kennedy Cluster work.

Budget page reference: N/A

The work of the Kennedy Project continues to be conducted through ahe Multi-Agency Team. The team is co-chaired by Mrs. Fran Brenneman, Director of Child and AdolescentSchool and Community Based Services, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the CountyExecutive’s appointed project manager for the county government side of the Kennedy Project, and Mr. Donald Kress, the Superintendent’s appointed project manager for the school system’s side of the project. The Multi-Agency Team meets on the first and third Monday of each month at John F. KennedyHigh School. Cases are referred to the Multi-Agency Team by principals of the project schools (Kennedy High School, Argyle Middle School, Lee Middle School, Bel Pre Elementary School, Georgian Forest Elementary School, Glenallan Elementary School, and Strathmore Elementary School) using criteria that were developed by the project’s operational group.The Multi-Agency Team deals with an average of twelve cases per month.

The County Council has not included any dedicated funding for the Kennedy Project in the budget for the past three fiscal years, and the only dedicated funding provided by the Board of Education for the past three fiscal years has been part-time salaries for project management. Therefore, the Multi-Agency Team must try to address the needs of the referred families through resources that are available within the existing budgets of participating agencies. Despite the lack of dedicated funding, the Multi-Agency Team has been able to provide the following services to referred families during the current fiscal year: housing assistance, cash assistance, utilities assistance, medical assistance, food stamps, other food assistance programs, new and donated clothing, legal assistance, individual and family mental health counseling, mentoring, tutoring, recreation programs, gang intervention, day care assistance, furniture acquisition, and job training assistance.

The reach of the project goes beyond just the seven project schools. To be referred, a student must be enrolled in one of the seven project schools, including choice programs at both the middle and high school levels within the Down-County Consortium. A referred student is likely to have siblings at other schools outside the Kennedy Cluster. Since the objective of the Multi-Agency Team is to address the needs of the referred student’s family, the effects of the Kennedy Project extend throughout the down-county area.

24. The Program Budget on page 266-68 discusses the Services for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. On page 268 it indicates an increase of 11.8 special education teachers and 19.25 paraeducators. Please provide additional information as to how these positions will be allocated. Are these teachers being dedicated to autism program and if so, at what level (ES, MS, HS)?

Budget page reference: 266-268

Staff will be reviewing the most up-to-date enrollment projections prior to making final decisions on staffing allocations in late February. At this time, it is expected that the additional 11.8 special education teacher and 19.25 paraeducator positions included in the FY 2013 operating budget to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders will be allocated as follows:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classes in elementary and middle schools will receive an additional 2.0 special education teacher positions and 3.5 paraeducator positions.
  • Elementary, middle, and high schools will receive 2.8 special education teacher and 4.9 paraeducator positions to support students with Aspergers.
  • Two middle schools will increase their grade level services and will receive an additional 2.0 teacher and 3.5 paraeducator positions.
  • Three high schools will receive an additional 4.0 special education teacher and 5.6 paraeducator positions to support Grade 9 students with ASD who will receive autism resource services.
  • Autism PreK will receive an additional allocation of 1.0 teacher and 1.75 paraeducator positions.

25. Given that we are opening a new school and that we have rising increases in the number of students eligible for FARMS and receiving meals in school, please discuss the proposed reduction in Chapter 6 on pages 121-122 (reducing two cafeteria worker positions by .5 FTE). Is there a cafeteria worker position allocated for the DCES #29?

Budget page reference: Chapter 6 - 121

The FY 2013 Recommended Operating Budget for the Division of Food and Nutrition Services (DFNS) includes an overall reduction of a .5 position. The reduction is a result of realigning several positions within DFNS to align the budgetwith actual position needs.However, the reduction to the budget does not have any impact on cafeteria worker positions.In fact, as a result of the position realignments, there is an increase of a .5 cafeteria worker I (9-month) position and a .5 cafeteria worker I (12-month) position. In addition, position realignments include an increase of a .75 cafeteria manager position and a .5 cafeteria worker I position for the Downcounty Consortium ES #29.

26. In Chapter 8-22, the budget recommendation is for a reduction of $761,524 in university partnership tuition due to a decrease in candidate enrollment. Please share some information about this trend. Is the decrease in any particular program (such as our partnership to develop special education teachers) and what are the implications for our hiring practices if any?

Budget page reference: 8-22

The Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD) has been re-evaluating all higher education partnerships, particularly the pre-employment partnerships, and conducting cost-based analyses to determine the return on investment. As a result of these analyses, several of our Memos of Understanding between MCPS and the universities have been renegotiated. A significant portion of the budget reduction is the result of a line item review of university program costs. Some of these costs have been reduced through the renegotiation of the contracts. A smaller amount of the reduction is attributed to a decrease in candidate enrollment. Current higher education partnership programs, as well as new partnerships being considered, continue to focus on critical shortage areas, such as special education, and increasing the diversity of our teacher candidate pool. The decrease in candidate enrollment will not negatively impact these focus areas and aligns with our current staffing needs. OHRD continues to hire staff using the applicant tracking system that allows us to recruit globally, and current hiring practices will not be affected by this reduction.

27. How many PPWs are budgeted for FY 2013? How does that number compare to each of the last five years?

Budget page reference: 1-33 and 5-65

For FY2013, 45.0pupil personnel worker (PPW) positions are budgeted.The budgeted number of positions for the previous five years is listed below:

  • FY 2012—45.0
  • FY 2011—45.0
  • FY 2010—47.0
  • FY 2009—47.0
  • FY 2008—47.0

28. What is the total cost for consulting principals, their supervisors, and any existing support staff?

Budget page reference: N/A

The amount budgeted for FY 2013 for the 3.0 consulting principal positions is $555,664, including employee benefits. There is a 0.25 administrative secretary position that provides secretarial support for the consulting principals at a cost of $21,620, including employee benefits. The consulting principals report to the director of the Department of Professional Growth Systems. The unit also includes 2.0 director positions that manage and oversee the professional growthsystems for administrative and supervisory staff. There also is a 0.75 administrative secretary position that provides secretarial support to the directors.

29. How many MCPS staff are allocated vehicles and at what cost?

Budget page reference: N/A

Currently, there are 27 MCPS employees that have assigned vehicles. The purpose of the assigned vehicles is operational in nature, and employees have 24-hour/day responsibility for responding to emergency situations involving inclement weather, security, and building maintenance.

MCPS usually purchases vehicles under a master lease arrangement which is a cost-effective way to finance the acquisition of vehicles.Based on current average vehicle prices, master lease interest rates, and a 5-year lease payment schedule, the averagecostfor a vehicle is$26,707and thetotal costis $721,090 for the 27 vehicles. The current year lease payment on vehicles is $85,089. Since MCPS usually keeps vehicles for at least 10 years, the annual averagecost for 27 staff vehicles is $72,109.MCPS is responsible for maintenance on these vehicles.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, employees that take vehicles home as part of their job are required to reimburse MCPS for commuting expenses.

30. How many bus route supervisor positions are there and what is the cost?

Budget page reference: Chapter 6 - 95

The total number of bus route supervisor positions in the FY 2013 operating budget is 80.0 FTE. Total salary costs associated with these positions, including employee benefits, is $6,180,298.

31. How many overhires do we have (title, category, cost)?

Budget page reference: N/A

An overhire is a position that is not budgeted but has been authorized for the current year only unless other resources have been held to offset the cost.

Currently there are 5.3 overhire positions. Of these, 3.0 have been added to the FY 2013 budget. In Category 1, there is a .5 administrative secretary I positionat a cost of $26,830. In Category 2 there are 2.0 supervisor positions that areauthorized but not budgeted for FY 2012 and the cost is approximately $244,000. In Category 3 there is a .8 paraeducator authorized but not budgeted at a cost of $32,600, as well as 2.0 consulting teacher positions at a cost of $132,906.

A Position Management Committee made up of staff from the Office of Management, Budget, and Planning; Office of Human Resources and Development; and the Employee and Retiree Service Center meets every other week to review position data, ensure that proper procedures are followed with regard to hiring, and ensure that personnel transactions are performed in an accurate and timely way. Staff in the Department of Management, Budget, and Planning also conducts a comprehensive review of position data which is shared with the Chief Operating Officer as part of the monthly financial monitoring process.

32. Provide information on the transfer policy for the Poolesville Cluster.

Budget page reference: N/A

In his testimony, Mr. Jerome Klobukowski, Commissioner of the Town of Poolesville, encouraged the Board to adopt a liberal student transfer policy for Poolesville cluster elementary and middle schools. This recommendation was considered by a community roundtable convened by MCPS in 2010to discuss options to handle the under-enrollment at Monocacy Elementary School.Subsequently, the Board adopted a resolution that allows any elementary student in the Poolesville cluster to enroll in Monocacy Elementary School regardless of grade level (prior to this, the option was limited to kindergarten only).

Board Policy, KEA Transfer of Students and Regulation KEA-RA, allow students to transfer to a school other than their assigned school for documented hardships and if an older sibling attends the school. A change in transfer procedures would require a change in the Board’s policy. In addition, an open transfer policy into Poolesville may adversely impact enrollment levels at nearby sending schools. It should be noted that Poolesville High School does draw a large number of students from outside the cluster to attend the magnet and Global Ecology programs.

33. What are the assumptions for staffing the Application program at Wheaton High School?

Budget page reference: 4-25

On March 28, 2011, the Board of Education resolved “That beginning in the 2012–2013 school year, the Project Lead The Way Program at Wheaton High School be expanded into an application entrance program for students from the Downcounty Consortium and explore options for students from outside the Downcounty Consortium, who do not attend a school with the Project Lead The Way Program, to complete the Project Lead The Way Program at Wheaton High School.”

Wheaton High School and central office staff have been collaborating in the development of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs that will admit students to Wheaton High School via an application entrance. The opportunity to apply to this program was included in all DCC communications this fall. The design of the program includes a cohort model of instruction in math, science, and engineering courses, similar in design to the Montgomery Blair High School Science, Computer Science, and Mathematics magnet program, but following the required courses of the PLTW Engineering and Biotechnology programs. Approximately 50 students will be admitted to the program for each grade level, beginning with Grade 9 in 2012-2013. To support the program MCPS plans to allocate a .6 teacher position to help coordinate the program. This person will work with the existing Wheaton High School Academy Coordinator and academy head teachers to help recruit and select students, develop and monitor unique instructional experiences, and ensure a high level instruction in program courses.

34. Respond to the testimony from the Blair Cluster regarding the disappearance of report cards and information on the curriculum in non-English languages from the website.

Budget page reference: N/A

Testimony provided by the Blair Cluster was correct regarding a problem with the website and the links thatcaused a temporary loss of data. As soon as this was brought to the attention of staff, repairs were made immediately. The website is now functioning normally.

35. What are the duties and responsibilities of focus teachers and academic intervention teachers and how are staffing allocations made?

Budget page reference: N/A

Focus teachers are allocated only to elementary focus schools. A school is considered a focus school when its student population does not meet the level of poverty that would qualify for Title I designation, but does have a high level of poverty. The focus teacher provides direct instruction to students, usually in small group settings, and provides interventions depending on the needs of the individual school. In some cases, focus teachers are used to lower class sizes for instruction for a specific content area, usually mathematics or reading. The formula for allocating focus teachers is based on the percentage of students identified as FARMS eligible per school and is weighted for enrollment so that schools with higher FARMS and higher enrollment receive more staffing than schools with lower FARMS and lower enrollment. Because both FARMS and enrollment are formula factors, schools with high FARMS but lower enrollment are still staffed with focus teachers, but not at the same level as a school with the same FARMS but higher enrollment.

Academic intervention teachers are allocated to elementary, middle, and high schools regardless of their FARMS status. Academic intervention teachers work directly with students in an instructional setting. They perform small group instruction in elementary schools and are used in secondary schools to create additional sections of courses allowing for smaller class sizes for specific classes. Academic intervention teachers provide interventions and work with students who have been identified as needing additional support. The positions are allocated by community superintendents based on school and program needs. Community superintendents are allocated positions based on a formula which factors poverty and enrollment for their cluster schools. The positions are then allocated to specific schools based on the individual needs of schools and each principal’s plan for the use of this position.

Attached are the job descriptions for the focus and academic intervention teachers that provide detailed information on job duties and responsibilities.

36. What is the cost to restore the instrumental music teachers that have been cut over the past several years?

Budget page reference: 1-9

The FY 2009 through FY 2011 budgets included 37.5 instructional music teacher positions. The FY 2012 and recommended FY 2013 budgets include 35.5 instructional music teacher positions, a reduction of 2.0 positions. The cost to restore the 2.0 positions is $130,897, including employee benefits.

37. Explain if the status of the Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Summer Adventures in Learning program has changed at Twinbrook Elementary School.

Budget page reference: N/A

In February 2011 the Board was notified that available Title I funding would support Title I at 23 schools for the 2011-2012 school year. These schools were at or above the FARMS rate of 65.63 percent. This was based on preliminary information received from the state that we should assume Title I funding for FY 2012 would be the same as the amount received in FY 2011. As a result, Twinbrook Elementary School, with a 63.86 percent FARMS rate, lost its Title I status for FY 2012. (See chart A attached)

In June 2011, the Board was notified that the Title I, allocation for FY 2012 was $20,577,174, a $2,707,640 increase from the FY 2011 budgeted allocation of $17,869,534. As a result, Twinbrook and Burnt Mills elementary schools were added to the list of Title I schools and became eligible for the ELO program.

The Title I schools for the 2012-2013 school year will be identified when MCPS establishes the FARMs cut-off based on projected funding from MSDE. If Twinbrook Elementary School is within the eligible range, it will qualify as a Title I school and will participate in the ELO program.

Chart A – February 24, 2011

Number of Students Eligible for Free and Reduced-price Meals System
Maryland Public Schools 2010–2011
Eligibility as of October 31, 2010
Montgomery County
23 Title I Schools

School Number Elementary School Name Official Enrollment Free Meals Reduced Meals F & R Total Percentage
304 Broad Acres 615 473 86 559 90.89%
797 Harmony Hills 566 384 110 494 87.28%
791 New Hampshire Estates 420 314 46 360 85.71%
774 Highland 462 301 86 387 83.77%
788 Wheaton Woods 472 272 105 377 79.87%
563 Summit Hall 529 342 74 416 78.64%
777 Weller Road 577 346 102 448 77.64%
779 Sargent Shriver 688 415 110 525 76.31%
553 Gaithersburg 591 362 85 447 75.63%
805 Kemp Mill 489 295 71 366 74.85%
564 South Lake 659 397 96 493 74.81%
552 Washington Grove 369 211 64 275 74.53%
790 Arcola 615 345 100 445 72.36%
786 Georgian Forest 502 289 69 358 71.31%
772 Viers Mill 580 309 101 410 70.69%
307 Roscoe Nix 494 263 80 343 69.43%
767 Glen Haven 547 306 70 376 68.74%
766 Oak View 299 175 29 204 68.23%
808 Cresthaven 394 206 59 265 67.26%
305 Jackson Road 615 326 87 413 67.15%
807 Brookhaven 402 209 58 267 66.42%
559 Brown Station 463 248 58 306 66.09%
100 Clopper Mill 416 223 50 273 65.63%

Chart B – June 28, 2011

Number of Students Eligible for Free and Reduced-price Meals System
Maryland Public Schools 2010–2011
Eligibility as of October 31, 2010
Montgomery County
25 Title I Schools

School Number Elementary School Name Official Enrollment Free Meals Reduced Meals F & R Total Percentage
304 Broad Acres 615 473 86 559 90.89%
797 Harmony Hills 566 384 110 494 87.28%
791 New Hampshire Estates 420 314 46 360 85.71%
774 Highland 462 301 86 387 83.77%
788 Wheaton Woods 472 272 105 377 79.87%
563 Summit Hall 529 342 74 416 78.64%
777 Weller Road 577 346 102 448 77.64%
779 Sargent Shriver 688 415 110 525 76.31%
553 Gaithersburg 591 362 85 447 75.63%
805 Kemp Mill 489 295 71 366 74.85%
564 South Lake 659 397 96 493 74.81%
552 Washington Grove 369 211 64 275 74.53%
790 Arcola 615 345 100 445 72.36%
786 Georgian Forest 502 289 69 358 71.31%
772 Viers Mill 580 309 101 410 70.69%
307 Roscoe Nix 494 263 80 343 69.43%
767 Glen Haven 547 306 70 376 68.74%
766 Oak View 299 175 29 204 68.23%
808 Cresthaven 394 206 59 265 67.26%
305 Jackson Road 615 326 87 413 67.15%
807 Brookhaven 402 209 58 267 66.42%
559 Brown Station 463 248 58 306 66.09%
100 Clopper Mill 416 223 50 273 65.63%
309 Burnt Mills 410 201 61 262 63.60%
206 Twinbrook 559 270 87 357 63.86%

38. For the past several years there have been cuts for textbooks and instructional materials. What has been the impact on schools and students?

Budget page reference: N/A

Staff in the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP) has worked to minimize the impact of reductions on schools and to maintain consumable materials and texts that are critical to the instructional program, including elementary mathematics workbooks, elementary instrumental music workbooks, and elementary science materials. Also during this period, funding has been allocated for central purchase of texts and materials to support implementation of the elementary integrated curriculum and to support implementation of new curriculum in secondary courses.

As school allocations of funding for textbooks and materials have been reduced, schools have replaced only those texts, media, and other instructional materials they determine to be most critical. They have replenished inventories at a slower rate and have used texts and materials longer, repairing them where possible. Cost saving initiatives, efficiencies, and innovations have reduced the need for some purchases and reducing schools’ expenditures. Central copying through the Copy Plus program has resulted in significant savings in paper and toner for schools—items that were purchased previously using instructional materials funds.

Cost saving initiatives, efficiencies, and innovations are reducing the need for some purchases and reducing schools’ expenditures. Central copying through the Copy Plus program has resulted in significant savings in paper and toner for schools—items that were purchased by previously using instructional materials funds. Teamworks, a new program to support copier repair and maintenance, has resulted in further savings for schools by ending the need for schools to lease or purchase copiers. Prior to Teamworks, schools used materials funds for the lease/purchase of copiers.

School Library Media Programs staff in OCIP have collaborated with the Maryland State Department of Education to secure online instructional resources for schools at no cost or at a significant discount, including research databases and encyclopedias. OCIP also searches for materials supporting the curriculum that can be provided to schools for free or at a reduced cost. The Department of Materials Management and staff in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer negotiate with vendors to reach the lowest possible price by bundling products and delivery dates.

39. How are Promethean boards provided to elementary schools?

Budget page reference: N/A

Montgomery County Public Schools has implemented the Promethean interactive whiteboards and related instructional technologies in approximately two-thirds of all secondary classrooms. This technology was funded by telecommunications expenditure rebates available through the federal Education Rate (E-Rate) program. Because these resources have been committed to complete the finance payments over the past four years, there have not been sufficient resources available to fund a similar district-wide program for elementary schools.

Capital budget funding has been used to purchase the Promethean interactive whiteboard technologies for new and modernized schools and schools receiving additions. In addition, Parent Teacher Associations, federal grants, and school-acquired grants have provided funds for elementary schools to purchase interactive whiteboards.

Staff will be presenting a plan to the Board for its consideration on the use future telecommunications rebates available through the E-Rate program (as was done for secondary schools) to bring these interactive learning technologies into all elementary schools.Elementary schools with no Promethean technology will have priority. The goal will be to provide two-thirds of all elementary school classrooms with these interactive instructional technologies.

40. Provide information on staffing for instrumental music over the past five years. How does MCPS staffing for instrumental teachers compare with other local school systems? If the staffing ratio used in 2001 had been maintained, how many positions would there be compared to the current number of positions? Provide five years of data by school on the size of the instrumental music groups.

Budget page reference: N/A

The elementary instrumental music (IM) program is provided in 125 schools with grades 4 and 5, and in two elementary schools with grades 4–6. The FY 2013 budget includes 35.2 positions for elementary IM, an increase of a 0.2 position from FY 2012, to support opening Downcounty Consortium Elementary School #29. The attached chart provides IM program enrollment data by school from FY 2008 through FY 2012.

The chart below compares MCPS with other local school districts’ IM programs in terms of data on how many students were served by an IM teacher during FY 2011. In FY 2011, a full-time MCPS elementary IM teacher served 360 students per week.

School District Students per Teacher per Week for Instrumental Music (IM)
Anne Arundel County, MD 250 students per IM teacher
Calvert County, MD 108 students per IM teacher
Fairfax County, VA 200 students per IM teacher
Howard County, MD 150 students per IM teacher
Montgomery County, MD 360 students per IM teacher
Prince George’s County, MD 175 students per IM teacher
Washington County, MD 125 students per IM teacher

The following table shows the elementary IM staffing allocation for each year for which data are available. The table includes changes in enrollment and staffing allocations.

Fiscal Year Staffing Allocation Elementary Instrumental Music Enrollment Range of Enrollment for a 0.1 Allocation
FY 2008 37.2 FTE 10,082 Less than or equal to 31
FY 2009 37.2 FTE 10,473 Less than or equal to 32
FY 2010 37.2 FTE 10,977 Less than or equal to 34
FY 2011 37.2 FTE 12,133 Less than or equal to 36
FY 2012 35.0 FTE 12,876 Less than or equal to 42
FY 2013 35.2 FTE 13,295* Less than or equal to 46

*Projected enrollment 

If the range of enrollment for a 0.1 allocation from FY 2008 had been maintained, a total of 48.8 positions, or an additional 13.6 positions, would be needed FY 2013.

41. Provide staffing allocation data for Montgomery Blair High School.

Budget page reference: N/A

MCPS staffing guidelines are used to staff all high schools. The staffing guidelines can be found in the Superintendent’s Recommended MCPS Operating Budget. Some position allocations are based on enrollment, while other position allocations are standard for all schools or based on other factors. The table below provides the staffing allocation for Montgomery Blair High School as well as for Wootton and Northwest high schools to provide a comparison. Please note the table does not include all the positions in the school. Attached is information regarding Montgomery Blair High School from the MCPS Schools at a Glance (2010-2011) document.

  Blair High School Wootton High School Northwest High School
Enrollment 2,799 2,318 2,068
Principal 1.0 1.0 1.0
Assistant Principal/ASA 5.0 4.0 4.0
Classroom Teacher 138.2 108.4 95.6
ESOL Teacher 9.8 1.2 0
Resource Teacher (head of department) 12.0 8.0 8.0
Staff Development Teacher .4 .4 .4
Resource Counselor 1.0 1.0 1.0
Counselor 10.6 8.7 7.5
Security Assistant 9.0 6.0 6.0
Secretary 9.0 8.0 7.0
Registrar 1.0 1.0 1.0
Building Service Worker 20.0 15.5 17.5

42. Provide three years of information on budget cuts for positions in the elementary, middle, and high schools.

Budget page reference: 1-1

Below are charts showing cuts in elementary, middle, and high schools positions from FY 2010 through FY 2012. The numbers do not include positions that were realigned or changed as a result of changes in student enrollment.

Elementary Schools Position Reductions
    FY 2010  FY 2011  FY 2012 
Classroom Teachers Grades 1 - 6 (5.000) (111.100) (20.000)
Kindergarten (17.000) (30.000)  
Subtotal (22.000) (141.100) (20.000)
 
Teacher-level Specialist (usually work with other teachers or on program implementation- do not impact class sizes) Reading Specialist (5.500) (5.000)  
Counselor     (5.000)
Staff Development     (21.000)
Special Program (3.700)    
Subtotal (9.200) (5.000) (6.000)
 
Other teachers (usually involved in small group instruction, specials, or for grouping and regrouping - in some cases may impact class sizes) Reading Initiative   (8.000)  
Reading Recovery     (8.000)
Focus   (9.000)  
Academic Intervention (9.800) (19.000) (4.000)
Art, Music, PE   (12.000)  
Instrumental Music     (2.000)
Subtotal (9.800) (48.000) (14.000)
 
Clerical Instructional Data Assistant     (16.375)
Subtotal     (16.375)
 
Direct Student Support Paraeducators   (27.000) (20.000)
Lunch Hour Aides     (6.000)
Subtotal   (27.000) (26.000)
 
Other Parent Community Coordinators     (2.200)
Media Assistants (6.000) (5.500) (18.500)
Subtotal (6.000) (5.500) (20.700)
 
Total Reductions (47.000) (226.600) (123.075)

 

Middle Schools Position Reductions
    FY 2010  FY 2011  FY 2012 
Classroom Teachers Classroom (6.600) (62.600)  
Subtotal (6.600) (62.600)  
 
Teacher-level Specialist (usually work with other teachers or on program implementation- do not impact class sizes) Counselor (1.000) (6.000) (2.000)
Staff Development (11.000) (5.400) (15.200)
Special Program (0.600)    
Subtotal (12.600) (11.400) (17.200)
 
Other teachers (usually involved in either teaching sections or pull out - in many cases does impact class size) Alternative Programs (10.000)    
Academic Intervention (1.000) (2.000) (5.000)
Subtotal (11.000) (2.000) (5.000)
 
Clerical/Financial Instructional Data Assistant     (4.725)
Subtotal     (4.725)
 
Direct Student Support Teacher Assistant (4.000)    
Lunch Hour Aides     (18.625)
Subtotal (4.000)   (18.625)
 
Other ITSS     (9.000)
Media Assistants     (8.875)
Subtotal     (17.875)
 
Total Reductions (34.200) (76.000) (63.425)

 

High Schools Position Reductions
    FY 2010  FY 2011  FY 2012 
Administrators Assistant School Administrators     (2.000)
Subtotal     (2.000)
 
Classroom Teachers Classroom   (60.800)  
Subtotal   (60.800)  
 
Teacher-level Specialist (usually work with other teachers or on program implementation- do not impact class sizes) Media Specialist (4.000)    
Staff Development   (5.000) (11.500)
Literacy Coach (15.000)    
Vocational Support     (2.000)
Career Preparation     (3.000)
Special Program (3.600)    
Subtotal (22.600) (5.000) (16.500)
 
Other teachers (usually involved in either teaching sections or pull out - in many cases does impact class size) Alternative Programs (6.000)    
Academic Intervention (5.000) (3.000)  
Subtotal (11.000) (3.000)  
 
Clerical/Financial School Secretary     (13.750)
Subtotal     (13.750)
 
Direct Student Support Teacher Assistant (5.000)   (3.575)
English Composition Assistant (6.500)   (9.750)
Subtotal (11.500)   (13.325)
 
Other Instructional Technology Systems Specialists (1.000)    
Media Services Technician (1.000)    
Media Assistants (3.000)   (7.000)
Subtotal (5.000)   (7.000)
 
Total Reductions (50.100) (68.800) (52.575)

43. What will the Gallup Staff Engagement Survey provide compared to using the Tell Maryland Survey?

Budget page reference: N/A

The following provides a comparison of the TELL Maryland Survey and the proposed Gallup Staff Engagement Survey:

  • The TELL Maryland survey was initiated by the Governor of Maryland in 2009.  The surveys were administered in 2009 and 2011.  It is not clear if the survey will be administered in 2013.  Moreover, some revisions have been made to the questions from 2009 to 2011 so it is more difficult to make comparisons between years.  The Gallup survey, on the other hand, contains consistent questions so that results can be evaluated over time.
  • The response rate for the Gallup survey piloted during the 2010–2011 school year was 92 percent.  The response rate for TELL Maryland was 30 percent for the 2010–2011 school year. The results can be accessed for only 45 of 200 MCPS schools.  This is because they only allow us to access results for schools with a response rate of 49.5 percent or above and a minimum of five faculty members responding.  Also, the low response rate makes it more difficult to meaningful comparisons make comparisons between years.
  • The Gallup survey has only 12 questions, and they are focused on measuring staff engagement.  TELL Maryland on the other hand, has 146 questions and measures several constructs (e.g., time, facilities and resources, community support and involvement, managing student conduct, teacher leadership, etc.).  Fewer, well-constructed questions are more likely to elicit better information regarding staff engagement.
 

44. Provide information on how we are using the Pearson Partnership i3 funds.

Budget page reference: N/A

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was awarded $4,999,635 from the United States Department of Education for the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. The grant is for three years, FY 2011 through FY 2013. The budget provides for 1.0 project supervisor and 11.0 elementary integrated curriculum specialist positions that collaborate with team members, school staff, and stakeholders to support the development of the elementary Curriculum 2.0 that includes the following:

  • New internationally-driven standards in math, reading, and writing.
  • A renewed focus on teaching the whole child.
  • Integration of thinking, reasoning, and creativity for a lifetime of learning.
  • The technology within myMCPS to create an online professional learning community that includes access to all instructional resources.

In addition, the budget for the i3 grant includes employee benefits for the 12 positions, travel funds for required conferences, office supplies, contractual funds for the required grant evaluation, local travel for MCPS school visits, and indirect and audit costs.

The grant requires a 20 percent private sector match and Pearson, LLC, has committed $1,250,000 over the three year period. This amount is budgeted in the Entrepreneurial Activities Fund. These funds provide for substitutes for teacher training in the year the curriculum is rolled out, contractual services to complete requirement specifications to code and develop the interface for the teacher instructional planner, professional part-time salaries for translation of student materials to support language immersion, and development of professional videos and training materials. In the future, Pearson LLC will sell curriculum materials developed through the partnership and MCPS will receive a percentage of the sales. Although the curriculum has been purchased by Pearson, it is being developed by MCPS educators for use in MCPS classrooms. MCPS always retains final authority over what is taught in its classrooms.

45. Provide the number of discipline review cases handled over the last two years.

Budget page reference: N/A

The Disciplinary Review and School Assignment Unit conducts investigative conferences to determine if suspension or expulsion is warranted. The number of investigative conferences conducted for school year 2009-2010 was 542 and the number for school year 2010-2011 was 489.

46. How many students with emotional disabilities were served last year and what is the projection for this year and next year? Why are there fewer students with the primary code of emotional disabilities? Explain why there is a reduction of 8.5 teacher and 12.5 paraeducator positions.

Budget page reference: 5-51

According to the Maryland Special Education/Early Intervention Services Census Data and Related Tables Report, MCPS served 663 students classified with an emotional disability (ED) during the 2010–2011 school year. This report reflects the official child count for students with disabilities for each local education agency in the state of Maryland for October 10, 2010.    MCPS has projected 650 students with an ED code for the 2011–2012 school year.  However, the official Maryland State Department of Education Census Data Report for October 29, 2011, has not been issued.  Once it is available, this report will provide information regarding the actual number of students served by MCPS with an ED code for the 2011–2012 school year. 

Determining the projection for all students with an ED code for the 2012-2013 school year has not yet been calculated since the ED code does not drive the staffing allocation for budget development.  Instead, the staffing is based on the continuum of services available to students with disabilities and the IEP determines the placement and services/program.  This information is used to determine which staffing model, ratio, or formula is used to develop the budget. 

According to Maryland census data, there has been a decrease in the number of students identified as ED since 2003.  In 2003, 9,775 students statewide were identified with this disability compared to 7,460 in 2010.  The decrease in the number of students identified as ED may be attributed to the following factors:

  • The design, implementation and monitoring of Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavioral Intervention Plans for students prior identification.
  • Support provided to school-based teams by the Department of Student Services (DSS) and the Department of Special Education Services.
  • Effective collaborative practices regarding instructional and behavioral strategies delivered by general and special education teachers.
  • The implementation of the Collaborative Problem Solving model.
  • Interventions and supports provided by special education paraeducators who serve students in the general education environment.
  • The implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
  • The accurate administration and interpretation of assessments used to determine a student’s eligibility as ED.
  • The peer review process that requires the review of all assessments for students found eligible as ED.

Based on the review of FY 2012 enrollment and staffing allocations, specifically for the ED Cluster Model Program, it was determined that 8.5 teacher and 12.5 paraeducator positions can be reduced for FY 2013.  Staffing for this specific program is primarily designed around a ratio, with consideration given to a teaching station model to enable appropriate grade level combinations at the elementary level and to accommodate class schedules at the secondary level.  Fewer staff members are needed for the teaching station model at the secondary level and it was determined that positions that were held in reserve were not needed.  Even with a reduction in staffing, the needs of students will continue to be fully met. 

  Topic Question
A  Academic Intervention and Focus Teachers - duties and responsibilities 35
  After-School Activities Realignment to Department of Transportation 3
  Alternative Level 1 Program Staffing 12
  Alternative Programs Position Changes from 12-month to 10-month 15
  Application Program at Wheaton High School 33
  Autism Spectrum Disorders - school allocations 24
B  Blair Cluster Testimony - disappearance of data from website 34
  Bridge to Academic Validation Program Reductions 19
  Budget Cuts - Elementary, Middle, High Schools - three years of data 42
  Bus Route Supervisor Positions 30
C  Cafeteria Worker Position Reductions 25
  Central Office Teacher - Alternative Programs 15
  Consulting Principals - cost for positions and other staff 28
  Copier Services - service calls and days out of service 10
  Counselor to Student Ratio 5
  Curriculum 2.0 for Kindergarten and Grade 1 Online  7
D Discipline Review Cases 45
E  Early Intervening Services 2
  Enrollment Changes and Position Reductions - middle and high schools 4
  Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Program - Twinbrook Elementary School 37
F  Focus and Academic Intervention Teachers - duties and responsibilities 35
G Gallup Staff Engagement Survey 43
H  High School Plus Program 18
  Hours-based Staffing 1
I  Instrumental Music Program Staffing Comparison 40
  Instrumental Music Teachers - cuts and cost to restore 36
K  Kennedy Cluster Program 23
M  Maintenance Work Orders 6
  Maryland Meals for Achievement Program  11
  Middle and High Schools Enrollment and Position Reductions  4
  Middle Schools IB Programme at Watkins Mill Cluster 8
  Middle School Reform - cost to add classes at non-middle school reform schools 9
  Montgomery Blair High School Staffing 41
N  Neglected and Delinquent Youth Program 17
O  Overhire Positions 31
P  Pearson Partnership i3 Funds 44
  Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Grant Reduction 20
  Poolesville Cluster Transfer Policy 32
  Promethean Boards at Elementary Schools 39
  Psychologist Allocations 14
  Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW) Positions 27
R  Refrigerator at Flower Hill Elementary School 11
  Rock Terrace and RICA Enrollment Projections 21
S  Services to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders - school allocations 24
  Special Education Itinerant Paraeducators 22
  Staffing Assumptions - Application Program at Wheaton High School 33
  Students with Emotional Disabilities - numbers served, positions 46
T  Textbooks and Instructional Materials 38
  Title I Program 13
  Twelve (12)-month Positions to Ten (10)-month - review 16
U  University Partnership Tuition 26
V  Vehicles for Staff 29