Superintendent Monifa McKnight proposed an increased budget despite MCPS losing millions in federal funding
At 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 14, MCPS superintendent Monifa McKnight proposed a $3.32 billion budget for the fiscal year 2025. The event was held at Odessa Shannon Middle School and was also streamed on MCPS’s YouTube channel. McKnight and the MCPS Board of Education had four key priorities they wished to address with the 2025 fiscal year budget: increasing math and literacy, improving two-way communication between schools and families, creating safe and secure schools, and hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. To meet these goals, Superintendent McKnight proposed a budget of $3.32 billion, an increase of $157.3 million compared this year.
The majority of the budget increase, $99.4 million, will be allocated to increase employee compensation and benefits which will help hire and retain a diverse workforce. $4.6 million will be set aside for accelerators, programs to help increase math and literacy skills, and $8.2 million will be devoted to supporting Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a blueprint passed in 2021 dedicated to providing a rigorous curriculum for students. Both of these budget categories have a goal of increasing math and literacy skills in MCPS students.
One major setback that MCPS and other counties face is the reduction of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Funds) which will reduce the $125 million budget by $92 million. According to Sammi Saeed, Student Member of the Board, many counties across the country are experiencing rough fiscal circumstances this year. “We know that this year is a very very tough year fiscally and not just for Maryland but across the nation,” Saeed said.
According to McKnight, the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2025 is fundamental to maintain and improve the positive trends MCPS has reported over the past year While she and the Board of Education are determined to provide MCPS students with the financial support necessary to help them grow into young successful adults, all members of the MCPS community have a role to play in ensuring the future is in safe hands. “It is our role as leaders, educators, and adults not only to teach but also to model what we want for our children as they grow and become the caretakers of our communities,” McKnight said.
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