Civic Groups to Host MCPS Budgetpalooza!

It’s a Palooza! At least it is for those who are in to reading through the Montgomery County Public Schools’ $2.4 billion budget line by line.mcps

The Montgomery County Civic Federation, the Taxpayers League of Montgomery County, and the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County are inviting anyone interested to this year’s Budgetpalooza! It’s the third year for this budget breakdown event. This year the group plans to go over the MCPS fiscal year 2016 budget chapter by chapter.

“It’s a good opportunity to go through the budget more carefully. I think we would like to see people take a close look at how their tax dollars are being spent,” said  Paula Bienenfeld, president of the federation.

Bienenfeld said about 25 people attended the event last year, including County Executive Isiah Leggett. The results of the finding are expected to be released by the groups hosting the event, she said.

“Every year there are a few more people as a basic interest in transparent government. It’s an important process and event,” Bienenfeld said.

You can preview that budget here. You can sign up to present a chapter of the budget at the event here.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 26 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, one block from the Bethesda Metro.

According to the most recent MCPS data, the school system is expected to end this year with a budget surplus of $33 million. Those gains are made mostly due to a hiring freeze and expenditure restriction implemented by former Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr. Last year’s fund balance totaled $38 million, according to MCPS Spokesman Dana Tofig.

Starr’s recommended budget represents an increase of $103.6 million to fund the same level of services for a growing number of students, previously negotiated agreements, rising costs in operations, and strategic enhancements, according to his report.. Part of this increase is offset by savings generated by program efficiencies and reductions, and an increase in the amount that MCPS employees contribute to the cost of their health benefits. The $103.6 million represents a 4.6 percent increase in the operating budget.

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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