Starr Releases $2.4 Billion Recommended Operating Budget Request
Superintendent Joshua P. Starr is recommending a $2.4 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, which includes $103.6 million in additional spending that will allow Montgomery County Public Schools to manage its continued growth, narrow achievement gaps, and prepare students for the future.
Starr presented his recommendation to the Montgomery County Board of Education on Tuesday , emphasizing it is part of a multi-year budgeting strategy that began in FY 2014. This year’s operating budget is $2.28 billion, according to the MCPS website.
“My budget recommendation builds on the investments we have made the past two years to ensure we are serving our students to the highest level,” Starr said. “I am recommending a budget that will allow us to keep up with our growing enrollment, while ensuring that all students have the skills and knowledge they need to be prepared to thrive in their future.”
Most of the $103.6 million spending increase will be used to provide the same level of services to a growing number of students; fund ongoing salaries and benefits; and manage increasing operational costs, according to a release from the school system. The recommendation includes $8.2 million in strategic priority enhancements that are focused on improving student performance while narrowing achievement gaps. Starr’s recommendation also includes $23.3 million that will be needed to replace the one-time revenue source the Montgomery County Council used to fund retiree benefits in the FY 2015 budget.
The Board of Education will hold public hearings on the budget on Thursday, Jan. 8, and Thursday, Jan. 15. The Board will then hold two worksessions on the budget before submitting a final FY 2016 Operating Budget request to the Montgomery County Executive and the Montgomery County Council in February.
“We appreciate the hard work and collaboration that went into creating this budget recommendation,” said Patricia O’Neill, president of the Board of Education. “We look forward to hearing from the public on Dr. Starr’s recommendation, as we seek to build a budget that meets the needs of our students, staff, and community.”
The recommended budget will be posted on the MCPS website.