Former School Board Member Named Interim Director for Children’s Opportunity Fund
Shirley Brandman, a former president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, has been named interim director of the Children’s Opportunity Fund- an initiative where county agencies, Montgomery County Public School officials, and the private sector are taking steps to eliminate the achievement gap. Brandman started in her new role on Sept 1.
County officials said the fund will bring together a governing board that is also expected to address health and social service needs of children and families.
“I am excited to be a part of launching the Children’s Opportunity Fund. Maximizing the impact of current and future investments, the Children’s Opportunity Fund is well positioned to accelerate achievement of our shared goal that all children succeed in school,” Brandman said in a news release.
Over a phone conversation, Brandman said the Children’s Opportunity Fund is still “brand new,” and the first meeting is expected to take place in the fall.
The County’s Fiscal Year 2016 operating budget includes $250,000 for the Children’s Opportunity Fund, with the Department of Health and Human Services and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) each contributing $125,000, which will be leveraged by the fund to attract additional private investment. The fund is a public/private effort to provide services and supports for children at risk of not succeeding in school, and their families. Early partners in the effort include MCPS; County agencies such as Health and Human Services and Recreation; the Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families and the Community Foundation for Montgomery County. Brandman will be responsible for developing the framework for this effort and supporting the policy leaders in setting its strategic direction, according to a news release.
“This is a critically important initiative and we are fortunate that Shirley Brandman can bring her experience as a strong advocate to this task. I look forward to working closely with her,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.
Larry A. Bowers, interim superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, wrote the Children’s Opportunity Fund is an example of a unique partnership that can make a real difference in the lives of our children and their families.
“Shirley Brandman was a strong advocate for our children as a member of the Montgomery County Board of Education and I know she will do an outstanding job getting this new initiative up and running at a high level,” Bowers said.