Campaign to increase school construction funds still under way
The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education approved a $2.32 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 on Tuesday, Feb. 11 . The budget is a 4 percent increase over this year's and is 2.3 percent above the minimum level required by state law. In a statement, the school district says the budget will allow it to "manage enrollment growth, narrow achievement gaps, and prepare for the future."
A provision for the hiring an additional registrar in Blair's counseling office was left out of the budget. Because of Blair's high volume of students, high mobility rate and high number of students from families who have never been through the college application process, some felt an additional registrar position was needed. Despite these factors, no provision was made, with MCPS citing the number of Blair staff members available to assist in registration, the drop in work done by hand as a result of improved technology and Blair's lower rate of college application submissions compared to smaller schools, among other things.
This budget comes in the midst of a campaign by county executives in Maryland's three largest counties—Prince George's, Montgomery and Baltimore—to secure more state funds for school construction. The three counties make up 44 percent of Maryland's student population and 46 percent of its Free and Reduced Price Meals program recipients. The funding would go towards school "modernization and construction," designed to keep up with the projected additional 30,000 student enrollment in the three counties by 2021. MCPS in particular faces challenges related to enrollment, adding 14,599 students since 2000, more than the growth of Anne Arundel, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties combined.
MCPS launched a new page on its website devoted to the cause in late January, and it can be found here.
A list of FY 2015 budget questions and answers can be found here.
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