MCPS Reacts To Leggett’s Proposed Budget
County Executive Isiah Leggett today released his recommended FY16 operating budget of $5.1 billion for the year that begins on July 1, 2015 – a budget that increases county government tax-supported spending by 1.1 percent while cutting the county property tax rate by about one cent.
Board of Education President Patricia B. O’Neill released a statement saying the board recognizes that “Montgomery County continues to face fiscal challenges that make it difficult to provide sufficient resources to meet all of the needs in our community. County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposed budget provides Montgomery County Public Schools with the minimum funding required by state law and shifts $27.2 million from an MCPS retirement trust fund to help fund our Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget.”
According to Leggett’s proposal, funding for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) of $2.2 billion – the Maintenance of Effort level required by State law. That represents a $30.7 million increase over last year, or 1.4 percent and is nearly 98 percent of the Board of Education’s request. The County Executive’s budget also includes $27.2 million for future health care and retirement benefits for MCPS that makes that same amount available for funding for MCPS programs in FY16.
“We know that County Executive Leggett is committed to our school system because he knows that an investment in MCPS is an investment in the future of our county. However, this level of funding is short of what’s needed to provide a world-class education to a growing number of students. At the state level, we are already facing a $25 million cut in state aid under Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.’s recommended budget. We must work with our legislators in Annapolis to restore this critical funding,” O’Neill said.
MCPS Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers added that to balance the budget at the level of funding the County Executive has proposed, MCPS will likely have to move forward with the plan they announced last week to cut more than 400 positions, including 370 school-based positions.
“These are painful cuts that will impact every school in the district, but given the county’s fiscal situation, we are left with little choice. We will continue to work with county and state officials to secure as much additional funding as possible so that we can restore some of these very important positions to our schools,” Bowers said.
The full budget and highlights are available on the County’s website at reports.data.montgomerycountymd.gov/omb.
Montgomery County’s Interim Superintendent for schools announced Monday that the school system is planning for a reduction in staffing and increases in class sizes at all grade levels in preparation for a budget request that might not get fully funded. Larry Bowers, released the information to the school system staff Monday. In February, the Board of […]