County Officials Strike a Deal for ‘Additional Funding For Students’

County Officials Strike a Deal for ‘Additional Funding For Students’

Teachers, parents and students made pleas for a fully funded MCPS budget

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County officials have forged a plan to bring “additional funding for students” after teachers, parents, students and education advocates demanded the County Council fully fund the school system’s operating budget request.

County Executive Marc Elrich’s proposed operating budget for the 163,000-student school system fell $14.4 million short of the Board of Education’s requested $2.66 billion budget and at public hearings this month, there were passionate calls to support more student mental health services, combat crowding and reduce class sizes.

Montgomery County funds the bulk of its public school system, which has grown increasingly diverse, and the state requires all school systems have “maintenance of effort” funding levels.

While Elrich’s budget represents a $51 million increase from the current year’s school budget and is above the maintenance of effort requirements, County Council members have blasted his proposal as a “disinvestment in education” that fails to put students first.

Elrich, County Council members and school leaders have scheduled a Wednesday news conference to outline an agreement that will “provide additional resources for” Montgomery students, according to an announcement from the County Council.

School and county officials did not respond to requests for additional information on what the agreement contains or whether it will mean the county has come up with a plan to meet the school system’s request, which is 2% larger than this year’s budget.

Maryland’s legislature earlier this year passed a budget that will pump more money into school construction projects.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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