Weast Proposes $1.8 Billion FY 2007 Operating Budget

December 15, 2005
Citing six years of steady academic gains, Superintendent Jerry D. Weast recommended a $1.8 billion FY 2007 operating budget to the Board of Education Wednesday designed to ensure the continued success of all students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

The FY 2007 operating budget is part of a multiyear plan to improve student achievement and builds on the progress made over the last six years. The proposed budget includes new resources to improve special education, strengthen middle and high schools, expand International Baccalaureate and gifted programs, increase foreign language translation services, and continue the expansion of full-day kindergarten.

Previous investments in student success have yielded exceptional results, including: MCPS seniors broke 1100 on the SAT for the second year in a row—something no other school system in Maryland has done; Newsweek magazine ranked all 23 eligible high schools in the top 3 percent in the nation; and more students than ever before are participating in Advanced Placement and Honors courses in high school.

MCPS students continue to exceed expectations at the elementary level as well. Fourth graders excelled on the Maryland School Assessments last year, scoring higher than any other class. This year, a record 3,800 fifth graders are taking accelerated math courses.

“We set out six years ago to build a school system where every student could achieve academic success, and we’ve made enormous progress toward our goal,” said Dr. Weast. “We have proven that when you have high expectations for students and staff, coupled with the right investments, you can indeed achieve great things. The FY 2007 budget includes new investments to continue our multiyear plan to increase student achievement.”

Specifically, the FY 2007 budget includes an increase of $122 million (about 7 percent) over the FY 2006 budget for a total of $1.8 billion. As in past years, the vast majority of the budget (89 percent) pays for MCPS personnel. Administrative costs remain low, at about 2 percent, as more dollars are directed to the classroom. In fact, MCPS has the third lowest central administrative costs in the state and the highest percentage of dollars invested in the classroom—nearly 65 percent.

Specifically, the $122 million increase for FY 2007 would provide:

• $15 million in improvement initiatives

o Expand full-day kindergarten to 17 more schools for a total of 110 schools
o Strengthen special education in middle and high schools. That includes reducing the size of general education classes with special education students
o Lower high school class sizes in core subject areas
o Increase supports at high school to strengthen literacy, improve performance on High School Assessments, and boost the number of students eligible for extracurricular activities
o Add 15 elementary assistant principals
o Support middle school reform
o Expand IB and gifted programs
o Increase foreign language translation services
o Enhance violence prevention programs
o Expand program to improve student safety on buses—Ride by the Rules
o Expand Study Circles program
o Improve technology supports for instruction
o Add more support staff—building services workers and teacher aides

• $18 million for new schools and growth in special education and ESOL programs
• $75 million for employee salaries and benefits, as well as benefits for retirees
• $14 million for utilities, transportation, inflation, and other costs

The FY 2007 budget will require a smaller increase in resources from Montgomery County taxpayers due to an increase in state funding. The Montgomery County share of the FY 2007 budget increase totals $68 million—a 5.4 percent increase in local funding.

MCPS is scheduled to receive $47.8 million in additional state funding in FY 2007. The increased state funding is a result of the Thornton Commission changes in state education funding. MCPS also expects $17 million in added state aid from funding for the Geographic Cost of Education Index.

Budget Process

The Board of Education will hold public hearings on the FY 2007 operating budget on January 12 and 19, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center (CESC). Individuals who want to speak should call the Board of Education at 301-279-3617 beginning December 22. Public work sessions will be on January 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room of CESC. Adoption of the budget is scheduled for February 14.

Budget Presentation Airs on Cable Channel 34

Dr. Weast’s community presentation of the FY 2007 operating budget will be broadcast throughout December on MCPS Television, Channel 34, beginning December 15 at the following times:

Mondays at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
Thursdays at 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays at 9:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.

Additional Information

The text of Dr. Weast's community presentation and additional information on the operating budget are available at

<<Back to browse