MCPS Homework Hotline Show Ends Early Due to Budget Cuts
The popular Montgomery County Public Schools Homework Hotline Live! TV show was pulled off the air a month early this school year to save the school system money.
The program offers “live” homework help for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and airs on MCPS-TV (Comcast 34, Verizon 36, RCN 89) and at AskHHL.org. This year the program was cut short by one month due to budget cuts.
Traditionally, the program runs until May 1, but this year the program stopped April 1. The move saved the school system $7,000, according to MCPS spokesman Dana Tofig. The total budget for the HHL program for the entire year is $24,300.
“Concerned about reductions to the Board’s FY 2016 Operating Budget request, the superintendent put expenditure reductions and a hiring freeze in place to build up our reserves that can be used to fund the FY 2016 budget. We have now increased our operating budget reserves to well over $30 million,” Tofig wrote in an email to MyMCMedia.
The way HHL works is students submit questions via Twitter or by email to the teachers who then answer them “live” on the show. Although the HHL TV program stopped, MCPS continued the online homework help service for a few weeks. The show has never been on air for spring semester finals, which occur in June.
“We always have ended the program in early May due to the drop in student requests. Also, keep in mind that HHL is just one option for students who need extra help,” Tofig said. “We are extremely proud that more students every year are using Homework Hotline, which provides real time help to student in an entertaining and interactive manner. We believe it is a valuable addition to the array of support that a student can receive from their school and the district.”