MCPS Superintendent Recommends a $64 Million Increase for 2019 Budget

As Montgomery County officials scramble to find a solution to the county’s current budget shortfall of $120 million,  Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith has recommended a more than $64 million increase for next year’s operating budget.

Smith presented his recommendations Tuesday night at Rockville High School.

Of the 2.7 percent budget  increase, Smith said at least $16 million will be allocated toward the projected growth in enrollment because MCPS is expecting at least 2,000 new students next year.

Funding ongoing salaries and health benefits and the rising costs in operations and also contributes to Smith’s budget recommendations.

“At least $1.8 million will go toward new schools and a new grade,” Derek Turner, spokesperson for the school system, said. “Silver Creek, for example, will be adding eighth grade next year.” Silver Creek Middle School in Kensington opened in September with sixth and seventh grades.

As the discussion surrounding the county’s budget continues, Turner said they plan to work with county officials to address the deficit.

“We’re are already looking at ways to create more savings in the school year,” said Turner. “We’re not cutting teachers in the classroom but we are going to find ways to do our part for the county.”

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who chairs the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, and Councilmember Craig Rice, who chairs the Education Committee, were not available for comment Wednesday to discuss Smith’s proposed budget.

There will be a series of board hearings and workshops regarding the budget beginning in January.

According to Turner, the Montgomery County Council is expected to make a final decision on the budget by June 1.

Click here to read Smith’s budget recommendations.

Current Budget Problems Just the Start of County’s Fiscal Issues (Video)

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at MHicks@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter @mittimegan.

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