Board of Education Discusses Restructuring Plans for Two Schools

March 27, 2012
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, March 26, 2012, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board had a discussion on restructuring plans for Forest Oak and Neelsville middle schools, received an update on proposed legislation that could impact Montgomery County Schools and made one administrative appointment. The full agenda can be viewed here.

Restructuring Plans for Forest Oak and Neelsville Middle Schools
The Board heard a presentation and approved restructuring plans for Forest Oak and Neelsville middle schools, which will now be reviewed by the state. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), schools in Year 4 of improvement must develop two-year alternative governance plans to address student and teacher needs. Both Forest Oak and Neelsville middle schools currently are in the process of finalizing plans to meet this mandate. The alternative governance plans for Forest Oak and Neelsville will be submitted to the Maryland State Department of Education for feedback in April. The restructuring plans involve a wide array of programmatic and curricular improvements, all supported by strong professional development and community engagement. Read the Board memo

Items of Legislation
The Board discussed legislation that is currently before the Maryland General Assembly that could have an impact on MCPS. Much of the conversation centered around Maintenance of Effort (MOE) legislation that has passed both chambers on the General Assembly. Under the legislation, MOE—which requires counties to fund education at the same per-student level from year to year—would become the funding floor for counties. The legislation also calls for a mandatory, but flexible, waiver process for counties that cannot meet MOE. The Board also discussed the ongoing debate over shifting some of the cost of the state teacher pension plan to local governments. The Board has expressed concerns about the shift and the impact it could have on the MCPS budget. The House of Delegates and the State Senate are considering different versions of the proposal that would phase in the shift over three or four years. Read the legislative update

The Board appointed Peter J. Braviak, currently a physical therapist in the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program at Sligo Middle School, as coordinator of the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program.

The Board approved the following resolutions:
- Declared April as the
Month of the Young Child
- Declared April as Arab American Heritage Month
- Declared April as National Autism Awareness Month

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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