Board Discusses Interventions, Maintenance of Effort; Appoints Deputy Superintendent

March 16, 2012
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board had a discussion on interventions; received an update on legislation before the General Assembly—including Maintenance of Effort—and appointed a new Deputy Superintendent.

The Board had a broad-ranging discussion about interventions and supports that are offered to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students and the need for interventions to be timely and comprehensive. National research suggests that students who experience difficulty early in school will continue to struggle throughout their educational careers if they do not receive assistance. Without adequate intervention, many of these children may eventually drop out of school. Superintendent Joshua P. Starr has made improving interventions and supports a strategic area of focus for the coming year. Read the report to the Board. (Video of this presentation will be available shortly on the Board of Education website)

Items of Legislation
The Board discussed legislation that is currently before the Maryland General Assembly that could have an impact on MCPS. Among the legislation under consideration are bills that would strengthen Maintenance of Effort (MOE), the state provision that requires counties to fund education at the same per-student level from year-to-year. The Montgomery County Council has not met MOE for three years, requiring the district to make more than $400 million in budget reductions. For this fiscal year, the County Council did not seek a waiver from MOE, resulting in a “rebasing” of the MOE level that is $1,500 lower per student than it was in FY 2009. The Board supports the current legislation because it makes MOE the funding floor for counties and includes a mandatory, but flexible, waiver process for those that cannot meet MOE. Read the legislative update

Deputy Superintendent for School Support and Improvement
The Board of Education appointed Beth Schiavino-Narvaez as deputy superintendent for the new Office of School Support and Improvement. Mrs. Schiavino-Narvaez, currently a community superintendent, begins her new post on April 1. As part of a reorientation of the MCPS central office, Dr. Starr is creating the Office of School Support and Improvement (OSSI) to better align and coordinate direct services to schools and principals, including professional development, leadership development and the offices of the community superintendents. This office replaces the current Office of School Performance. An interim community superintendent will be named soon. Read the press release

Action on Policies
The Board took action on the following items:
Tentatively approved Policy CND, School-Related Fund-RaisingPolicy CND, School-Related Fund-Raising, was identified for updating. The policy provides a framework for school-related fund-raising activities in or on behalf of Montgomery County Public Schools that safeguards instructional time, maximizes the safety of students, supports a common school experience for all students, and includes appropriate accountability provisions.  It will be sent out for public comment and approved at a later time. 
 Rescinded policies EDC, Furniture and Equipment and EFA, Bank Accounts for Cafeteria Funds, which are covered in other existing policies and regulations.

Other Business 
- Approved preliminary plans for the modernization project at Candlewood Elementary School

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: Ms. Shirley Brandman, president; Mr. Christopher Barclay, vice president. Members: Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, Ms. Patricia O’Neill, and Mr. Alan Xie, student member. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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