Board of Education Discusses Return on Investment

July 28, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, July 27, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed efforts by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to determine Return on Investment; recommended approval of end-of-year transfers within the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Operating Budget; and made two administrative appointments. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You also can watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.

Return on Investment Analysis

The Board heard a presentation on MCPS’ efforts to determine Return on Investment (ROI) in order to inform budgetary and policy decisions. ROI frequently is associated with financial investments, but can be determined for any activity for which an investment is made and outcomes are measured. The Office of the Chief Operating Officer has used ROI for the district’s operational functions, but MCPS recently has expanded that work to try to determine the ROI for academic programs and initiatives. For a specific investment, ROI is determined by dividing the percentage of students with learning gains by the cost of the program. The Board viewed and discussed the early results of the district’s academic ROI analysis on two specific initiatives—secondary school focus teachers in English and mathematics, and the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) partnership with Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove.

There are challenges in using an ROI analysis for academic programs and initiatives, including the complexity of determining a direct link between funding and student outcomes, given the variability in geographic and economic circumstances of students; and ensuring there are clear outcome expectations for each investment. However, ROI has many benefits and provides important information for decisions regarding the budget and policy-making.

Read the Board Memo

FY 2015 Operating Budget End-of-year Categorical Transfers

The Board of Education voted to request a transfer of funds between state budget categories. The request will be sent to the Montgomery County Council for approval. Preliminary figures indicate that MCPS ended Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 with a fund balance of $37 million. Most of that fund balance, about $33.2 million, was used to help fund the FY 2016 Operating Budget. While most categories of the budget ended the year with a surplus, the fixed charges category finished the year with a deficit. The Board transferred $3.9 million from the instructional salaries category to the fixed charges category.

Read the Board memo

Administrative Appointments  

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

Donna M. Blaney, currently magnet coordinator, Parkland Middle School, as supervisor, Testing Unit, Office of Shared Accountability.

Jennifer L. Craft, currently resource and staff development teacher, Montgomery Blair High School, as supervisor, Secondary Literacy, Department of Secondary Curriculum and Districtwide Programs.

About the Board of Education

The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.

Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, president; Mr. Michael Durso, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Mr. Larry A. Bowers, interim superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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