Council Committees Meet on April 8
Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee will meet on April 8 at 9:30 a.m. to begin its review of the Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget request of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The review is part of the Council’s examination of the recommended budget presented by County Executive Isiah Leggett. In a different room at 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will be briefed on what has been learned about disruptive water main breaks that occurred in Chevy Chase on March 18.
In April and May, the Council will review the recommended budget as it works toward adopting the FY14 County operating budget in late May. The budget will go into effect on July 1.
The Education Committee, which is chaired by Valerie Ervin and includes Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Craig Rice, will meet in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
The Education Committee’s worksession will be one of four expected worksessions to review various aspects of County Executive Leggett’s recommended FY14 budget for MCPS. The recommended budget includes an increase of 2.65 percent over the approved FY13 level.
The first worksession on the MCPS budget will focus on revenues and expenditures. A later worksession will look in depth at employee compensation, including the negotiated agreements for FY14.
The Board of Education’s requested budget includes 398 additional fulltime employees over the approved FY13 budget. The increases are primarily in teachers and instructional aides. The Board projects a total enrollment of 151,354 for FY14. That would be an increase of 2,575 over the actual FY13 enrollment. Enrollment of students with Limited English Proficiency is projected to increase by 786 (to a total of 21,367 throughout the school system). Enrollment of students qualified for Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMS) is projected to increase by 2,065 (to a total of 45,984 students).
Board of Education President Christopher Barclay, Vice President Philip Kaufman and Superintendent of Schools Joshua Starr are expected to be present for the worksession.
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Third Floor Conference Hearing Room at 9:30 a.m. The committee be addressed by representatives of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) regarding the March 18 water main breaks near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive in Chevy Chase.
The meeting can be viewed live via streaming through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov. It will be broadcast on a delayed basis by County Cable Montgomery at a time yet to be determined.
The water main breaks occurred after a 60-inch pre-cast concrete cylinder pipe, which was installed in 1980, broke and left approximately 200 homes without water service for more than 24 hours. Mandatory water restrictions were placed throughout the County for six days to ensure sufficient water pressure for fire hydrants.
The Council is expected to ask about acoustic fiber optic monitoring equipment that was installed in 2010. Under many circumstances, the equipment is designed to give advance warning of a potential pipe failure.