School Notes: MCPS Superintendent To Announce Operating Budget Next Week

School Notes: MCPS Superintendent To Announce Operating Budget Next Week

Plus: Boundary analysis meeting on Saturday; Deadline is Sunday for comments about student transfer policy

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Superintendent will announce operating budget recommendations on Wednesday

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith on Wednesday will release his recommended operating budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget is expected to be released in the morning or early afternoon, then Smith and MCPS staff will host an “online presentation” beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The presentation will be streamed on the MCPS website, and people will be able to submit questions about the budget to the superintendent.

The current fiscal year’s budget totals $2.68 billion. Smith has said publicly multiple times he expects a “significant” increase in the next budget, mostly due to ongoing contract negotiations with teachers and support staff.

Contract negotiations with the teachers’ union and support staff union occur every three years.

The school board will review Smith’s proposed budget after it is released, then send the budget to the County Council and County Executive Marc Elrich for consideration.

The MCPS budget historically has totaled more than half of the county’s overall budget.

Boundary analysis meeting on Saturday

Another meeting about the countywide school boundary analysis will be held on Saturday morning.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at White Oak Middle School and feature a presentation from consultants hired by the school district to complete the study.

The countywide analysis was approved by the school board in January and tasks consultants with reviewing school utilization, demographic and socioeconomic trends.

The consultants, working on a $475,000 contract, will provide data and resources to the school board in May, but will not recommend any specific boundary changes. The school board will then use the information “as it is relevant” to help shape future boundary decisions, according to MCPS staff members.

Sunday is deadline for comments about student transfer policy

Sunday is the final day for the public to submit feedback about proposed changes to the school district’s student transfer policy.

The proposed new version of the policy says students’ mental, physical and emotional health could be considered as a reason for a transfer. The school district would require documentation from a physician or counselor.

The updated policy would allow the district to grant transfer requests for MCPS staff members who want their children to attend the schools where they work. It only would apply if they are employed at high-poverty schools or schools with extended academic years.

Transfers, regardless of the reasons, are considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the school’s capacity and the school’s ability to serve a student’s special needs.

The policy was last substantially revised in 1995.

Comments can be submitted on the MCPS website.

The school board will review public feedback and vote to adopt the final policy by the end of the year, in time to be used for the next round of transfer requests the district considers.

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