Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative Seeks to Engage Community on Important Issues

October 23, 2012
First Topic: The MCPS Operating Budget

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) today is launching Neighbor to Neighbor, a new initiative aimed at engaging the community in a discussion on important issues in education. The first Neighbor to Neighbor topic is the MCPS Operating Budget and other topics will be covered in the future.

The Neighbor to Neighbor website provides a toolkit loaded with resources for those who wish to host or participate in this self-guided discussion. These discussions can happen at a time and place convenient to the host—perhaps with other parents during a PTA meeting, with coworkers during a brown bag lunch, or with friends at home in your neighborhood. Each group is asked to take notes on their discussion and email them to MCPS, so they can be shared with the Board of Education and district leadership.

Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr said he hopes that Neighbor to Neighbor provides an opportunity for broad input from the Montgomery County community. 

 “A budget is about more than money—it’s about what we value. We want people to have open, candid conversations about the areas of the budget that matter most to them,” said Dr. Starr. “We’ve provided some resources to help get the conversation started, but these discussions should focus on what our community values about the school system.” 

PTAs and com
munity organizations are encouraged to host Neighbor to Neighbor discussions. The online toolkit includes step-by-step instructions for hosting an event and includes a video that gives a broad overview of the budget; informative handouts that can be shared with attendees; and a few questions to get the discussion started.

Once the gathering has taken place, hosts are asked to share notes from the discussion by email to Participants are also welcome to share pictures from their discussion, which may be posted on the MCPS website. The input from the Neighbor to Neighbor discussions will be shared with the superintendent and the Board as they build an operating budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2014.

For more information, visit the Neighbor to Neighbor website.

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