Statement from Montgomery County Board of Education President Karla Silvestre
and Dr. Monique Felder, Interim Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools
Regarding the FY 2025 Operating Budget

May 24, 2024

The Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) have the responsibility to develop, present and ultimately approve budgets that put students first. We take this duty very seriously because our budget is about much more than numbers – it is about our people.

We have previously shared with County Council members, our employee bargaining unit associations and our community partners the difficult decisions that may be necessary to address the significant financial constraints our county is facing. Schools are fundamentally about people, and we understand the profound impact that this budget and potential reductions will have on our dedicated workforce, students and families.

Final decisions will not be made until the Board approves the budget on June 11. The Board and MCPS leadership will continue to evaluate the budget adjustments shared with the County Council in May, including:

  • Reduction in central office exempt (not overtime eligible) and nonexempt (overtime eligible) employees.

  • Reduction of Middle and High School staff development teacher (SDT) allocations by 0.4 FTE and no reduction of elementary school SDT allocations. 

  • Increase in class size guidelines by 1 student. This will potentially result in a reduction of between 100 and 150 positions. We expect to be able to absorb some of these reductions through retirements and other expected vacancies. 

  • Elimination of the Montgomery Virtual Academy. 

  • Delay in Pre-Kindergarten expansion postponing the creation of additional full-day Pre-K classrooms.

  • Reduce additional CollegeTracks counseling services at some high schools.

  • Preserving therapeutic mental health support by realigning funds on the Title IV (Student Support & Academic Enrichment) grant in order to provide these allowable services through the Title IV grant.

  • Reductions in contractual services affecting a number of contracts.

  • Reducing musical instrument repair services provided for schools impacted by poverty.

Lately, there has been public discussion about $13.7 million in contractual services that were not itemized in a list given to County Council and the employee bargaining unit associations’ leadership. The list was intended to share information about major contracts and present examples of major contracts by budget category. To build understanding, MCPS has itemized the entire contractual services budget, and a comprehensive list will be shared with the County Council and the leadership of the employee bargaining unit associations.

As a result of increasing class size, a Reduction in Force (RIF) may be necessary to ensure financial stability. The RIF would impact all employee groups and would be implemented in accordance with procedures outlined in the negotiated agreements with our employee associations – Service Employees International Union (article 21, page 45), Montgomery County Education Association (article 30, page 63), and Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals/Montgomery County Business and Operations Administrators (article 25, page 52).

We understand the gravity of these potential decisions and the challenges they present. We want to emphasize that these considerations are not a reflection of the dedication or the quality of work of our staff. We are committed to providing resources and assistance to help our staff navigate the coming weeks. 

Even in the midst of these challenging circumstances, our commitment to providing the best possible education for each and every MCPS student remains steadfast.

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