Board of Education Elects Officers; Discusses Workforce Diversity Initiative and Hears Presentation on Proposed Budget

December 12, 2014

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board elected its officers and made committee appointments; heard a presentation from Superintendent Starr on his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Operating Budget recommendation; and discussed the new MCPS Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You can also watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.

Election of Board of Education Officers, Committee Appointments

The Board selected Patricia O’Neill as President and Michael Durso as Vice President for the next year. Mrs. O’Neill was first elected to the Board of Education in 1998 and is currently the longest serving member of the Board. She was elected to a fifth four-year term in November. For the past year, Mrs. O’Neill has served as vice president of the Board and chair of the Policy Management Committee. Mr. Durso was elected to his first four-year term on November 2, 2010, after being appointed to the Board in June 2009 to finish an unexpired term. For the past year, he has served as chair of the Board’s Fiscal Management Committee. Read the press release.

The Board also appointed members to its committees. Membership of the committees is listed below:

Fiscal Management: Michael Durso (chair), Christopher Barclay, Phil Kauffman

Strategic Planning: Christopher Barclay (chair), Judy Docca, Jill Ortman-Fouse

Policy Management: Phil Kauffman (chair), Patricia O’Neill, Rebecca Smondrowski, Dahlia Huh (student member)

Special Populations: Rebecca Smondrowski (chair), Judy Docca, Jill Ortman-Fouse

Proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr presented his recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Operating Budget to the Board. Dr. Starr is proposing a $2.4 billion budget for FY 2016, which includes $103.6 million in additional spending, an increase over FY 2015 of about 4.6 percent. Dr. Starr’s budget proposal is a part of a multiyear strategy that will allow Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to manage growth, narrow achievement gaps, and prepare students for the future. Dr. Starr’s recommendation reflects the Board of Education’s budget interests and significant input from a broad array of stakeholders.

The Board of Education will hold public hearings on the budget on Thursday, January 8, and Thursday, January 15. The Board will then hold work sessions on the budget on Tuesday, January 20, and Thursday, January 22, before approving a final budget request on Tuesday, February 10. The budget will then be submitted to the Montgomery County Executive and County Council for consideration. For more information, visit the FY 2016 Budget Web site. To find out how to sign up to speak at one of the public hearings, visit the Board of Education’s website.

Overview of Superintendent’s recommended operating budget

Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative
The Board received a presentation from MCPS staff and held a discussion on the new MCPS Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative. MCPS is launching a four-part initiative to drive the district’s efforts to increase the diversity of its teacher workforce. The school system is seeking to recruit and retain high-quality teachers that reflect the diversity of its student enrollment, including teachers of color and others with backgrounds, skills and experiences that are underrepresented in the current workforce, such as those who are multilingual. For many years, MCPS has worked to recruit and develop a more diverse workforce, but the efforts have not been as effective.  Currently, white teachers make up more than 76 percent of the total teacher workforce.

The initiative, which is the result of a system-wide collaboration that includes the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), SEIU Local 500, and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals, comprises strategies in four key areas:

  • Recruitment: MCPS will make recruitment a year-round process that taps into college and university alumni networks and partnerships that exist in the school system to enhance recruitment of teachers with diverse backgrounds.
  • Selection: The teacher selection process and timeline will be redesigned to ensure that MCPS is competitive in today’s job market.
  • Retention: MCPS will work to establish itself as a desirable, diverse and sustainable place to work and build a career.
  • Internal Talent Development: Creating strong local teacher pipeline programs will be essential to diversifying the MCPS workforce and providing a sustained talent pool for years to come.

Teacher Workforce Diversity Strategic Plan

Calendar for the Election of the Student Member of the Board
The Board of Education approved the calendar of major events for the election of the 38th Student Member of the Board of Education as proposed by the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils. See the calendar of major events for the election.

Administrative Appointment:

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointment:

Marisa Grant, currently acting chief investment officer, Department of Financial Services, as chief investment officer, Department of Financial Services

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved the following items related to school construction projects and facilities:

-Accepted the Gaithersburg High School Revitalization/Expansion-Remaining Sitework

-Appointed an architectural firm for the Downcounty Consortium Elementary School Comprehensive Capacity Study

-Appointed an architectural firm for the Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School Comprehensive Capacity Study

-Awarded contracts for the William H. Farquhar Middle School Revitalization/Expansion Project

Recommendation to Modify the Board of Education Handbook
The Board approved a change in the Board of Education Handbook, now designating the video/audio recordings of the Board of Education meetings as the official record of the meetings, for those meetings that have such recordings. A written summary of the meeting will be prepared for informational purposes that would contain only the actions taken by the Board.

Future Meetings
The Board will hold public hearings on the Superintendent’s FY 2016 Operating Budget recommendation on Thursday, January 8, and Thursday, January 15. The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Please check the Board of Education meeting calendar for further information

About the Board of Education
The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.

Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, president; Mr. Michael Durso, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ms. Dahlia Huh, student member. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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