MCPS' operating budget increases to account for its climbing enrollment in fiscal year 2019
In June, the Montgomery County Board of Education adopted a $2.6 billion operating budget for fiscal year (FY) 2019, which began on July 1, 2018. The budget, representing a $77.2 million increase from last year's, will provide for the needs of 205 schools and 163,184 students in the 2018 - 2019 school year.
The funding for the operating budget comes from three main sources: county dollars and tax revenue (65.8 percent), state revenue (27.3 percent) and federal aid (2.9 percent). Funding allocation was determined by the Board of Education, county leaders, MCPS employees and community members.
Three central factors drive the new operating budget: the achievement of academic excellence for all, enrollment growth and increased need for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Free And Reduced Meal Students (FARMS) programs. "This budget will help ensure that MCPS students are provided with the resources and opportunities needed to meet their full potential," Board President Michael Durso said to MCPS Bulletin.
The majority of the budget invests directly in services that support student success. According to MCPS's Budget 101, "more than 90 percent of the MCPS budget pays for the salaries, wages and benefits for the teachers, support professionals and administrators who work with and on behalf of students every day."
Individual schools receive resources based on their enrollment, student needs and programs such as magnets or special education centers. Schools with larger enrollment sizes, special programs or higher percentages of economically disadvantaged or ESOL students are provided with additional staff.
The budget shows a $17.7 million increase to accommodate the additional 1,882 students who will be joining MCPS this year by creating 202 new staff positions and a new elementary school in Rockville. MCPS received an additional $25.9 million from the county under Maintenance of Effort (MOE), which requires local governments to spend at least as much per student as it did the previous year in order to receive additional state aid for education.
In addition, the budget provides for the renovation of 11 elementary schools, six middle schools and five high schools. Another $16.1 million goes to paying for textbooks and instructional supplies, support for mental illness and additional dual language schools to improve student performance and narrow the achievement gap. The operating budget also covers student transportation, special education and food services.
While the budget increased in almost all areas, it saw slight reductions in grants funding and salaries for supporting services.
Emmy Song. Hi! I'm Emmy and I'm a senior at Blair. When I'm not working on SCO, I can be found solving math problems, curating Spotify playlists, or watching the sun set. More »