County Fiscal Budget Finalized

Montgomery County Council and the MCPS Board of Education agreed on a $2.32 billion proposal for the MCPS 2015 operating budget on May 12.

The new operating budget is designed to handle student growth, narrow the achievement gap and prepare students for higher expectations. The final budget will be approved in June.

Although the final budget has not come out yet, staffing for next year was already released. RHS received additional staffing for math and English classes in order to lower class sizes. Math and English classes will receive another part-time teacher in each department. RHS is expecting about 30 more students next year, so these extra teachers will help maintain the desired 30:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

In addition, math and English department heads (RTs) will receive additional release time. This creates more time for RTs to work with the teachers.

“This extra period will allow me time to a�� visit classrooms, observe student teaching, observe student engagement and examine student work a�� to determine the strengths and needs of students,” English resource teacher Martin McCarrick said.

Furthermore, new programs such as the IBCC and a program called Exploring Computer Science will be added to RHS. The IBCC program is a certificate program that combines career programs with IB coursework.

Exploring Computer Science is a national program coming to RHS next fall that will be offered to grades nine through 12. It focuses on computer science using special programing called “drag and drop programming,” according to Funding from the county allows teachers to get trained to teach this class.

Math teacher David Baker is getting trained over the summer and will be given materials for the computer science course. Baker said, “Computer science is a�� becoming more and more important as technology continues to transform society. [This class] will be an absurdly fun and relevant class for all students.”

Principal Billie-Jean Bensen said, “I support the additions to the budget and believe the additional funding and county-supported programs will provide more opportunities for our students and additional supports for our staff.”