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MCPS: Leggett Falls Short In Funding Schools

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said he is disappointed in the County Executive's budget plan.

The amount of aid for county schools proposed by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett in his fiscal 2014 county budget plan falls short of what's needed, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said Friday.

Leggett's plan calls for a schools budget of $2.23 billion—an increase of $65.8 million, or 3 percent more than the budget approved for the current school year.

"The County Executive's recommendation would fund 100 percent of the [school board]'s request," according to Leggett's budget proposal.

Click here to read more on Leggett's fiscal 2014 budget plan and here to hear the County Executive discuss the proposal.

The proposal is a slight increase in spending for MCPS, to the level required by the state's maintenance of effort law, which requires that counties fund schools at the same level or greater from year-to-year or face a fine.

This marks the fifth consecutive year the County Executive has funded schools at the minimum level, Starr said.

"The [school] Board and I had asked for about one half of one percent (0.5 percent) above the minimum to fund efforts that would go directly toward narrowing the achievement gap and preparing our staff and students for the future," Starr said in a statement. "Our children get one shot at an education and to invest minimally in their future doesn't fulfill the values we hold dear in our community."

County school board President Christopher Barclay echoed Starr's sentiments, saying the county's investment in education has been cut by nearly $1,500 per student since fiscal 2009.

"Now that the economy has improved, I am disappointed that the County Executive has chosen to fund schools at the lowest level possible," Barclay (Dist. 4) of Takoma Park said in a statement.

Janis March 19, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Amnesia? It was the Board of Education that threatened to sue the County over the funding of the MCPS budget in 2011. Is suing the County citizens what President Barclay calls working together? http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2011/06/school-budget-shenanigans.html
Max Bronstein April 02, 2013 at 07:14 PM
The Maintenance of Effort Law calls for maintaining the same amount of per-pupil expenditure. If there is an increase in students in the coming school year, then the county needs provide only the same amount PER-PUPIL, multiplied by the number of additional students, added to the previous year's TOTAL. The difficulties between the county vs. the school board & the superintendent arise because the county furnishes $2 billion plus to MCPS, but has no voice as to how the money is used & allotted within the overall budget. In effect, the board & the superintendent's message is," just give us all the money we ask for & be quiet. Max Bronstein
Nadia Biznis April 23, 2013 at 08:49 PM
How in the world can the schools get by on a measly $2.23 BILLION??? Shocking...terrible...they need to hold a reaaaaaalllyyy big bake sale. /sarcasm off

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