Board of Education Receives Update on Every Student Succeeds Act and Discusses Strategic Priorities

July 28, 2016

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, July 25, 2016, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. The Board received an update on the Every Student Succeeds Act and held a discussion on the district’s 2016–2017 strategic priorities. 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.


Every Student Succeeds Act

The Board of Education held a discussion on the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Mary L. Gable, assistant superintendent, Division of Academic Policy and Innovation, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), provided the Board with an overview of ESSA, as well as a preview of MSDE’s work to prepare for the transition to this new federal law.


President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law on December 10, 2015. This bipartisan legislation marks the first major overhaul of federal law regarding K–12 education since 2001, when the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was enacted. ESSA retains a significant federal role in supporting states and school districts to achieve progress toward these twin goals of quality and equality in schooling, while addressing certain aspects of NCLB’s accountability mechanisms that were broadly criticized as overly prescriptive and restrictive. Significantly, ESSA maintains federal data collection provisions, including disaggregation of data by subgroup including race and ethnicity, disability, Free and Reduced-price Meals System services, and English language learners. The law also expands those subgroup categories to include reporting requirements for students in foster care, students who are homeless, and students with a parent who is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty. This data collection is critical to the work of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), as well as districts across the nation, because it ensures that MCPS keeps its attention focused on eliminating achievement and opportunity gaps to ensure a high-quality education for all of our students.


MCPS has convened a cross-office collaborative work group on ESSA implementation. Staff will monitor developments at the state and federal levels and also will work with stakeholders to ensure that key insights are factored into state and federal decision-making regarding key issues that may critically affect the district’s work for years to come. In addition, the work group will provide support as MCPS adapts the necessary record keeping and infrastructure, as well as updates and training for school-based and central office staff, to facilitate as smooth a transition as possible to implementing ESSA within MCPS.


20162017 Strategic Priorities

Superintendent Jack R. Smith shared the framework for his strategic priorities for the 2016–2017 school year with the Board of Education.  He described four key focus areas (learning, results, and accountability; human capital management; community partnerships and engagement; and operational excellence) and discussed his vision for ensuring that all of our struggling learners receive the same level of excellence in teaching and learning provided to our successful students.


Fiscal Year 2016 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) 2016 with a fund balance of $33.8 million. Most of that fund balance, about $33.2 million, was used to help fund the FY 2017 Operating Budget. While most categories of the budget ended the year with a surplus, the maintenance of plant and fixed charges categories finished the year with a deficit. The Board transferred $4.2 million from the instructional salaries category to the maintenance of plant and fixed charges categories.

MCPS’s fund balance is the result of a commitment to the County Council to save a portion of the current operating budget to fund the following fiscal year’s operating budget.

Read the memorandum



The Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Daniel E. Garcia, currently assistant principal, Springbrook High School, as principal, Ridgeview Middle School



The Board approved the following resolutions:

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Thursday, August 25, 2016. Please check the Board of Education meeting calendar for further information


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: Mr. Michael Durso, president; Dr. Judith Docca, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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