Budget cuts may hurt Magnet


Jan. 26, 2008, midnight | By David Meyer Maya Calabrese | 12 years, 5 months ago

Teacher positions and classes could be eliminated


Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) budget cuts as a result of the county's $400 million deficit could lead to Magnet courses and teacher positions being eliminated next fall, according to Magnet Coordinator Dennis Heidler. The Board of Education will vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget Feb. 5 and send their proposal to the county executive on March 1.

The FY 2009 budget includes provisions to terminate six to 12 teaching positions from the three magnet programs at Blair, Poolesville and Richard Montgomery, according to Marshall Spatz, director of the MCPS Department of Budget, Management and Planning. Spatz said the number of positions being removed from each school is still uncertain.

Some magnet teachers have expressed concern that some specialized Magnet courses could be eliminated in the process. Magnet science teacher Angelique Bosse said that these exclusive courses define the Magnet and losing them could alter the program's curriculum and reputation. "What's nice about the Magnet program is that we offer special courses that no one else does," she said. "If they cancel these, I think it will affect a lot of people's decisions in signing up for the Magnet."

But Kay Williams, MCPS director of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction, noted that the cuts could have very little effect on the Magnet at all, though the final decision will not be made until the budget is finalized. "We have no idea what is being cut right now other than what is listed in the budget book," she said. "There's no truth to [any specifics] because we just don't know what will happen."

For the complete story, be sure to check out the next print edition of Silver Chips on Jan. 31.




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