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Joint Statement from Board of Education President Karla Silvestre and Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight
County Council Education and Culture Committee Reduces MCPS Operating Budget Request
The Montgomery County Council’s Education and Culture Committee today unanimously took several actions on the Board of Education’s requested budget. First, the Council reduced the school district’s budget by $22.3M, on top of the $7.4M by which the County Executive reduced the district’s request in his recommended budget. Second, the committee divided the school district's remaining $200.7M funding request into two categories of ‘high priority’ ($156.1M) and ‘priority’ ($44.6M). This action now moves the final decision on MCPS funding to the entire County Council. In February, the Board of Education budget requested $230.7M from the County Council.
This action places the district in a seriously difficult position in trying to address the academic, social, and emotional priorities coming off a historic period of time in our nation as a result of the pandemic. The most significant concern is essentially the jeopardy in which this places the key investments that were specifically designed to fully staff our schools and address disparities in literacy and math, close opportunity gaps, and create greater equity across the district, especially among our black and brown students, and students receiving special education, language, and meals services.
Meeting all children’s needs is a high priority, which is how we hope the full council will approach its final budget deliberations. We’ve seen the impacts our students and staff have faced in the last two years. The school system’s needs are larger than ever. We need to improve math and literacy outcomes for our children and compensate our teachers, administrators, and support staff appropriately. We need our county leaders to realize this and fund the budget at the levels requested. Anything less denies our shared responsibility to support the students and staff of Montgomery County.
The next step in the budget process is a call to action for our community to come together and address the County Council on May 12 to communicate that now is the time to fully fund the MCPS budget.
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