Operating Budget → Question and Answer Archive
How much would it cost to add the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) at all Seneca Valley Cluster middle schools?
Is there a national standard on the number of students per instrumental music teacher? What formulas or standards do other jurisdictions in Maryland use?
How does MCPS determine what high schools will receive the College Institute program? How many students may be impacted by the loophole in the Dream Act that may impact their ability to receive in-state tuition?
Several years ago psychologists and PPW’s moved from central locations to locations based in schools. What has been the impact on services to school and students?
What are the criteria for budgeting psychologists in other Maryland jurisdictions, and is there a national standard? Since the number of psychologists has not kept pace with student enrollment, are there plans to begin to address this, and what would be the projected costs? Also, provide the cost of a full-time psychologist position.
Of the elementary schools that lack a full-time guidance counselor, how many are focus schools and what would it cost to restore a full-time guidance counselor at every elementary school?
What supports do we provide small elementary schools unable to provide two classes per grade level?
What funds will be available to provide training and materials for Curriculum 2.0?
Explain why the projected number of students in the Bridge Program will be 30 less than the number budgeted for FY 2013.
Respond to the Magruder Cluster testimony that noted that Shady Grove Middle Schools’ copier is malfunctioning regularly and that a new one is needed.
The FY 2013 Operating Budget included funds to add the Advancement Via Individual Determination program (AVID) in five middle schools. Was consideration given to funding an expansion of AVID? Please explain why there is not a recommendation for expansion to other middle schools in the FY 14 budget.
With respect to the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program, what are the plans for future funding of the program? Will MCPS be expected to increase funding over time as we expand to more high schools? Is there an expectation that MCPS will be seeking a partnership or grant funding for the future of ACES?
TABLE 2, Budget Revenue by Source anticipates a reduction of revenue for Outdoor Education. Please explain. Is that driven only by the reduced enrollment or will there be a reduction in the program? Similarly, there is an anticipated increase in student activity fees revenue. Is that driven solely by enrollment or is there a planned increase in the fee?
In response to State Board decisions and proposed action on suspensions/expulsions, MCPS has increased reliance on Home and Hospital Teaching (HHT) to provide educational services to suspended/expelled students. Does the $170,922 proposed budget increase indicated at Chapter 5–66 anticipate the provision of HHT services to suspended students?
Chapter 1-23 indicates under “Realignment”—a reduction of 2.2 vocational support teacher positions and 2.6 career preparation teacher positions. Please describe in more detail the anticipated impact of these reductions. Specifically, are these school-based positions and what populations do they serve? (also listed at 1-25)
As the State of Maryland reinstates the Government HSA, are there any budget implications for supporting students doing bridge projects to satisfy this graduation requirement?
In FY 2012, MCPS increased the number of full day Head Start programs from 17 to 18 due to full enrollment. In light of the growing demographic of preschool students, please explain whether consideration was given to another expansion, and if not, why not?
In FY13, MCPS made a decision based on limited resources and staff capacity, to delay expansion of the SIPPI program (noted at 4-17). When is it expected that we will be ready to expand SIPPI and what resources will be required?
The Board has had requests to offer funding support for several after school programs that promote student growth such as Exceptional Speakers program for students with disabilities and the SkillsUSA competition. Can we get a list of the extracurricular programs, if any, for which we currently provide funds? Can we also get information about extracurricular programs that we used to support (such as Destination Imagination) and at what funding level?
“Program Efficiencies” indicates that MCPS will no longer purchase materials for Leveled Reading Kits and READ 180 so that “individual school allocations will be used to replace these materials as needed”. Please explain. Will there be a commensurate increase in the individual school allocations? Do some schools have more students using READ 180 and will therefore have a greater impact on their individual allocations? There is also indication that MCPS will no longer support Triumph on-line SAT/PSAT preparation services—are these free to our students through College Board or will students now have to pay?
The table on page 4-2 indicates that we are adding 18.49 positions to the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs. Please provide additional detail. Reading through the chapter it appears we are adding 8 positions for math implementation and 22 for ESOL. I cannot make the numbers add up.
Please provide an update on the scope (how many schools are being served) and the funding for the Middle School Special Education Institute (MSSEI) for FY 14
Chapter 5-29 indicates a projected decrease in the number of hours of service required for students served by Hours-Based Staffing. Is this based on a change in the Hours-Based Staffing ratio or has the ratio stayed the same but the number of hours needed by currently enrolled students has decreased? Please clarify.
There are several references throughout the budget to increased incorporation of UDL strategies in the implementation of Curriculum 2.0 both at the elementary and secondary level. There does not appear to be any increase requested for professional development or staffing to support this UDL expansion. Please explain how we are using existing resources to meet the increased UDL expansion.
Given the expected increase in demand on technology to implement CCSS assessments, how are we planning for anticipated increased need in support for local schools? What impact is likely as a result of the proposed reductions in OCTO (Chapter 9-9) on responsiveness to schools?
MCPS expectations for the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships continue to grow. The Office is being asked to build and manage growing partnerships as well as continue to provide support to an increasingly diverse student/family population. How have the demands on staff increased over time? What are the plans, if any, to increase the capacity of this Office?
Chapter 8-59 under realignment notes a realignment of $40,000 from the Field Trip Fund to support artificial turf replacement costs. Please explain.
As noted in Chapter 8-75, the workload for the Division of Maintenance continues to grow rapidly without a commensurate increase in staffing. Kudos to the Division for all its efforts to increase efficiency which have been paying off. Are there proposed formulas for increasing staffing needs based upon further aging of existing facilities or rise in the number of work orders? Also, what is MCPS capacity to increase the number of participants in the HVAC Apprenticeship program?
Please provide a five-year trend of actual and budgeted expenditures for supplies and materials broken down into: Textbooks, Media, Instructional Supplies, and Other by school level (elementary, middle and secondary). Has there been a decrease in the use of textbook funds in favor of expenditures on digital resources like e-books? What is MCPS vision for the future of classroom materials and the possible expansion of digital resources in the classrooms? What are the budget implications of this vision?
The student/teacher ratio, on page 1-4, for physical education, art, and general music, projects an increase to 489:1 for FY 14 from the 486:1 ratio projected for FY 13. Please explain the rationale for this increase.
On page 1-6, please explain the reduction of the 43 lunch hour aide positions and the increase of $1,172,662 in lunch hour part-time salaries. Will there be any impact on the services provided as a result of this change?
If the 5.0 instrumental music (IM) teachers are restored, how many students will be served per week by a full-time IM teacher? How does this ratio compare to surrounding school systems? What is an optimal staffing ratio for IM instruction? How many IM teachers must be added, beyond the 5.0 proposed, to achieve an optimal ratio?
Please provide specifics on the proposed increase of $1,434,699 in stipends to support professional development and collaborative planning time due to the implementation of Curriculum 2.0 and Common Core State Standards? How will these funds be allocated?
Please explain how the 10 proposed elementary math teachers will be used in support of accelerated math instruction? How many schools will each teacher support? Will all schools provide an accelerated curriculum, including compacted fourth and fifth grade math instruction?
responsibilities of this proposed team not included in the mission of the Office of Professional Development and School Support?
Please explain the funding sources for the Math Implementation Team, as described on 4 - 7? Specifically, clarify the use of the Pearson Entrepreneurial Activities Fund, as referenced in Chapter 8, since Chapter 8 - 14 states that the 2 instructional specialists will be funded through realignment from substitute teacher salaries. In addition, in the event that the i3 grant is not extended, how will the 3 instructional specialists be funded?
How many additional classroom teachers are allocated to Down County Consortium schools to support reduced class size in Grade 9 core academic classes? How many additional teachers would be required to provide similar staffing to non-DCC high schools with ever-FARMS populations that exceed 50%? What high schools would benefit from such a staffing increase? As an alternative, how many teachers would be required to reduce staffing ratios in high school math and English classes, similar to the proposal for Middle School Focus Teachers, at DCC schools and schools and those schools with high ever-FARMs populations?
The proposed staffing for reading initiative teachers is unchanged from 2012 and 2013 levels. What are the responsibilities of these teachers? Please explain why this staffing has not increased consistent with enrollment? What are the caseloads for reading initiative teachers over the last five years?
Please explain the $92,925 reduction for student scheduling materials in the High School budget, on page 1 - 23? What will be the impact of this reduction?
Please justify the 1.0 supervisor position in the Office of the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching, Learning, and Programs, to oversee the collection and analysis of data on intervention programs. Why can’t this work be performed by the Office of Shared Accountability?
Please explain the proposed increase for middle school student/counselor ratios from 235:1 in FY 2013 to 242:1 in FY 2014. How many additional counselors would be required to maintain existing ratios?
What training is currently provided to staff so they may recognize possible mental health issues, such as depression, affecting students? Is such training mandatory? Is it provided annually? Are there best practices that could be replicated in MCPS? What would be the costs associated with increasing such training?
The Special Education Staffing Plan, on Page ix-1, provides that all of the staffing plan elements required by MSDE are included in the operating budget. Please list all required elements and specifically identify where they are included in the budget. In addition, what were the specific recommendations of the Special Education Staffing Committee that were submitted to the Department of Special Education? For each recommendation that was made, please provide the rationale for their acceptance or rejection.
What is the status of the study that was undertaken to review 12-month positions to determine if any could be reduced to 10-month positions? Were any positions identified for a reduction? If so, are those reductions being implemented? If not, why not?
For each cluster with a high school IB program, which middle schools do not have an IB program? What would be the cost to add a middle year IB program at each of these schools?
Provide information on where the dollars for professional development for Curriculum 2.0 are shown in the FY 2014 Operating Budget.
How will the additional 22.8 middle school Staff Development Teachers be used?
How might we assess how effective counselors are in terms of working with students?
Provide a list of Maryland Meals for Achievement Program (MMAP) schools. Is there any additional funding in the Governor’s budget for the program? (Caplon/Tucci)
Respond to testimony on behalf of the Walt Whitman Cluster that states that Walt Whitman High School’s Learning for Independence (LFI) program is understaffed, and that their staff to student ratio is higher than the ratios at Walter Johnson and Rockville high schools. Provide information on ratios for all LFI programs.
Respond to the Walt Whitman Cluster testimony that states that special education case loads are very high in both resource and primary learning center classes at Burning Tree Elementary School, and that the school has had to reorganize its Learning Center teaching units to create combination classes in all grades. Are there staffing issues at other Elementary Learning Center programs?
What do other school systems, including Fairfax County Public Schools, charge for school activity fees? How much would the fee need to increase to fund certified athletic trainers?
Respond to the testimony of Tom Hearn that states that MCPS is the only Maryland school system not using the concussion form recommended by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Provide information on budget cuts for athletics over the last several years.
What programs and resources does MCPS have in place to address substance abuse? How is MCPS working with families, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other relevant agencies to coordinate programs and services for students?
Schools are implementing some programs such as B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S., and Barons Reaching Academic Goals (BRAG) that have been successful in improving the academic success of the students that participate. How is staff coordinating with schools that are implementing successful programs to ensure that best practices are shared with other schools?
Please explain the role of the central office teacher? How will this impact instructional capacity within Alternative Programs?
Concerns have been raised about the time and materials needed to deliver Curriculum 2.0. How are we receiving and responding to concerns from teachers on Curriculum 2.0 training?
The testimony regarding the Barons Reaching Academic Goals (BRAG) program stated that providing lunch would help to maximize participation and the time available for the program. Are there sources of funds that may be used to help pay for the student’s lunches?
If there are 35 students in an IB program is there a different formula that can be used to make smaller class choices?
On page 365 of the Program Budget, 40 Bus Route Supervisors and 23 Transportation Cluster Managers are listed. What are their specific duties, and if all are 12 month employees, what are their summer assignments?
On Page 380 of the Program Budget, I cannot determine how many cafeteria workers are less than 4 hours. How many fall into this category, and how many combine cafeteria with another MCPS assignment?
On page 154 of the Program Budget, 3 Consulting Principals and 33 Consulting Teachers are listed. What are their current caseloads?
On page 55 of the FY 2014 Program Budget, HS+ has a request of $1,289,000. Have we, or do we plan to evaluate this program?
How is the Sharp Street Program funded?
What is the cost of a teacher position for the LFI Program at Walt Whitman High School?
How much would it cost to install stadium cameras?
How much is budgeted to develop and deliver communication activities to the public – Listen and Learns, Book Clubs, Vision and Core, Beliefs, Strategic Planning Forums.
How are interpreters paid? Are they paid overtime?