Superintendent’s 2018-19 Operating Budget


Photo by Sarah D'Souza

Superintendent Jack Smith presents his budget for the 2019 fiscal school year to the MCPS Community and the Board of Education Dec. 19 in the RHS auditorium.

Sarah D'Souza, Editor-in-Chief

Superintendent Jack Smith proposed his operational budget for the MCPS 2019 fiscal school year in the RHS auditorium Dec. 19. Smith proposed a $2.59 billion budget, a $67 million increase from the previous year.

The operational budget will go through many stages until it is finalized in July. After Smith’s Dec. 19 presentation, the school board has until March 1 to adjust the recommended budget with feedback from hearings, work sessions and community members. Many organizations including various PTAs, SGAs, employee associations and other advocacy groups can also contribute feedback.

“We use feedback from a lot of people now, but I think we have to spend more time gathering feedback from our schools’ staff and our school communities about what is important to them, and what will help them reach their goals and aspirations,” Smith said in an interview with the Rampage.

The meeting focused on many big-picture ideas of where spending would be geared toward,

The next step is for the school board to send the modified budget to County Executive Isiah Leggett, who will then combine it with the county’s overall budget by March 15. Then, it is up to the Montgomery County Council (MCC) to officially adopt the new budget around the end of June.

The operating budget included plans to include new career pathway programs for high school students including cybersecurity, fire safety, aviation, agriculture science and public safety among other programs.

“I’m very excited about hearing about all of the opportunities for students who might not want to follow the usual college pathway, who might want to look into different avenues that they have before getting interested in different things they can do,” MCPS instructional specialist Staci Lang said.

Lang was a former math teacher at RHS and now works as an administrative intern in the MCPS central office, and said that the clear focus on schools, students and classrooms was important in showing that Smith would attempt to make necessary budget cuts in other areas.

Overall, the meeting focused on many big-picture ideas of where spending would be geared toward, with less discussion of the allocation of specific dollar amounts.

“They gave a lot of examples of where their money was going, but not how they were going to spend it, and that was one of the main focuses that I came here, because I didn’t know where certain dollar amounts would be placed,” senior Antonio Robinson said. “That’s why I kind of wanted to come here to eliminate that vagueness, but that didn’t happen as much as I had hoped.”