Board of Education Tentatively Adopts Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget; Adopts Curriculum and Instructional Materials for Pre-K-5 English Language Arts; and Takes Action on Policy KEA

February 14, 2019

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center. During the meeting, the Board tentatively adopted a Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 operating budget recommendation; took action on Policy KEA, Political Campaign and Political Materials; approved the purchase of curriculum and instructional materials for Pre-K-5 English Language Arts; and adopted positions on legislation.

The agenda for the meeting with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget

The Board of Education (Board) approved a $2.66 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.  The Board amended the superintendent’s recommended budget to include additional staffing for physical education, , and to focus on reading and writing interventions, counselors for elementary school, a counselor and an instructional specialist for ESOL, fiscal analyst for the Board,  and after-school activity funds for focus schools and secondary schools.  The request includes a $65.56 million increase from Fiscal Year 2019, which will allow the district to manage significant enrollment growth, maintain high levels of achievement, and eliminate opportunity gaps. A majority of the spending increase will be used to provide the same level of services to a growing number of students; fund ongoing salaries and benefits; and manage increasing operational costs. The request also includes $18.42 million for key bodies of work that will strengthen the district’s efforts to improve programs; increase access to strong academic and career opportunities; extend  learning; provide language opportunities; focus on physical, social and psychological well-being; hire and retain an effective and diverse workforce; and strengthen operational excellence. 

The Board’s budget request will be submitted to the Montgomery County Executive and the County Council. The County Executive is expected to release his FY 2020 Operating Budget recommendation by March 15. The Montgomery County Council will hold public hearings on the county budget in April before passing a final budget in May. The Board will vote again in June for final adoption of the budget.

Read the Board Memorandum

Read the Press Release

Curriculum and Instructional Materials for Pre-K-5 English Language Arts

In accordance with Board Policy IFA, Curriculum, there was a review of English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (Math) curriculum in Grades pre-K–8.  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) contracted with Johns Hopkins Institute for Educational Policy (Johns Hopkins) in order to conduct a review of the written, taught, and learned aspects of Curriculum 2.0. 

In response to Johns Hopkins’ recommendations to the Board, a multistakeholder team was assembled to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP), to purchase externally created curricular and instructional materials for ELA and Mathematics curricular and instructional materials for elementary and middle school.  The RFP detailed requirements that emphasized meeting the needs of all learners in every classroom.  After an extensive review and a thorough evaluation of each proposal was conducted, involving community members and stakeholders across the district, the superintendent of schools proposed to the Board his recommendation to purchase the following curricular and instructional materials for Pre-K-5 English Language Arts:

  • Benchmark Advance by Benchmark Education Company, LLC, for Pre-K–5 English Language Arts curricular and instructional materials and professional development.

At its January 8, 2019, meeting, the Board approved the purchase of the following curricular and instructional materials: 

  • Grades prekindergarten through Grade 5 Mathematics: Eureka Math by Great Minds, LLC;
  • Grades 6, 7, and 8 English Language Arts: StudySync by McGraw-Hill Education, Inc.; and
  • Grades 6, 7, and 8 Mathematics: Illustrative Mathematics by LearnZillion, Inc.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

For additional information, visit:

Policy KEA, Political Campaigns and Political Materials

The Board of Education decided to refer Policy KEA, Political Campaigns and Political Materials, to the Board of Education’s Policy Management Committee for further review.

On September 11, 2018, the Board tentatively adopted revised Policy KEA and the recommended name change of the policy to Civic Engagement, Political Campaigns, and Political Materials, which reflects the desire to permit students to receive excused absences for participation in civic engagement activities. The policy and summary of the policy revisions were distributed for public comment.

During the Board’s review of the policy at its November 13 meeting, Board members proposed further revisions and voted to send the policy back out for additional public comment, and took tentative action rather than the anticipated final action. 

At its meeting on January 22, 2019, the Committee further discussed Board Policy KEA, as well as the most recent comments from the public, and identified several issues that warranted further consideration by the full Board. The Committee asked that staff provide additional information and recommended that the amended draft policy be forwarded to the Board for further discussion and direction to the Policy Management Committee.

Read the revised policy

Positions on Education Legislation

The Board discussed legislation that will be considered by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2019 Maryland legislative session.

Read the Recommended Board Positions (NOTE: Actual Board votes on these legislative bills may differ from staff recommendations.)  

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved the preliminary plans for the A. Mario Loiederman Middle School and Walt Whitman High School addition projects.


The Board approved the following resolutions:

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, February 25, 2019.  Please check the Board of Education website and 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. Shebra Evans, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Ms. Karla Silvestre, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, Ms. Brenda Wolff, and Ms. Ananya Tadikonda, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.


<<Back to browse