MCPS Budget Falls Short by $9.4 Million

Javier Lopez, Staff Writer

Montgomery County Council leaders pledged to find the means to fully fund the Board of Education’s (BOE) budget request Wednesday, April 24, which MCPS wants to utilize for more educational resources after initially falling short by $14.4 million for the 2020 request of $2.66 billion.

Through a recent bill passed by the state legislature upgrading Maryland’s 911 emergency call network, which will lower the amount of money officials have to pay to operate the system, the state will be able to use the $5 million that would have gone to operating the service toward filling the budget’s gap. Although the bill helps with funding, the county still needs to figure out how the remaining $9.4 million will be paid.

To determine budget distribution, MCPS analyzes each school’s needs and decides how much money should be given to each school.

“MCPS does an excellent job of gathering feedback and interpreting data in the development of the budget plan,” RHS Business Administrator David Stough said. “[MCPS’ interpretation of the data] maximizes the impact of every dollar made available to the system.”

The additional $14.4 million requested by the county would go to schools with high poverty levels to add additional staff and expand the science, technology and math programs at the middle and high school levels, according to an April 24 Bethesda Magazine article.

MCPS has until June 1 to discover and finalize where the rest of the funding comes from. To come up with the rest of the money the school system will look at areas where they can save money that will not affect the classroom experience, Superintendent Jack Smith said in the Bethesda Magazine article.