Fiscal Year 2024 → Question 1
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to hiring for equity, excellence, and diversity. It is crucial to ensure that our students have educators who are reflective of the school system’s diverse demographics. The Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD) is invested in engaging and supporting MCPS students and current employees using a Grow Your Own program that will bolster the pipeline of teachers and staff of color who are recruited and retained.
MCPS invests heavily in the development of our current employees. The Recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Operating Budget for tuition reimbursements amounts to $4.15 million. We also formed higher education partnerships with local universities for teacher preparation, continuing education and graduate certificates, and school leadership development. The FY 2024 budget for partnership tuition amounts to $409,000.
In the Department of Human Capital Management, there are two positions: a 1.0 full-time equivalant (FTE) coordinator of Future Employee Initiatives that focuses on recruiting current MCPS students for Grow Your Own programs and a 1.0 FTE instructional specialist for higher education partnerships position that focuses on higher education partnerships. Other non-tuition budgets also are allocated to support this initiative.
Maryland Leads Grant Updates
MCPS recently was awarded the Maryland State Department of Education Leads (Leads) grant. A total of $1.47 million of this grant will support our continued efforts to develop and grow our pipeline of future educators and support professionals by leveraging a two-pronged approach:
The goal of area one is to expand work-based learning programs for high school students to include internships, apprenticeships, and career-related learning experiences for them to pursue careers in education, and to enable support professionals to become teachers. The Leads grant provides tuition reimbursements and scholarships to MCPS students enrolled in colleges or universities pursuing undergraduate education degrees with plans to return to MCPS upon completion. Our first cohort of 12 students is a diverse group. We plan to expand scholarship opportunities to 25 more MCPS seniors.
The goal of area two is to make MCPS workforce demographics reflective of the MCPS student population. MCPS supports career changers to become certificated educators in critical shortage areas including, but not limited to, special education, early childhood education, and mental health. Throughout the last several years, MCPS has hired an increasing number of conditionally certified teachers. In order to provide an accelerated pathway to certification, MCPS has partnered with Moreland University to provide a fully funded online option for these employees.