MCCPTA FY 2006 OPERATING BUDGET COMPACT
The Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (MCCPTA) believes that an Operating Budget for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) must provide funding to make progress towards the fundamental requirements described in this budget compact. This compact will provide the basis for testimony before the Board of Education and the County Council and in other forums concerning the MCPS Operating Budget for FY 2006. MCCPTA will not support any budget, MCPS Strategic Plan, or other planning or policy document, that does not make progress
towards the requirements of this compact.
A. Maximum Performance for all Students
must focus on raising
academic performance of all students so that all may reach their full
potential, no matter where they reside in the county. There is a need for
uniformly high expectations that all students
will succeed and will have their needs met including Special Education,
ESOL, and Gifted/Talented students. There must be
sufficient funding for programs to raise the performance of
under-performing students. There must also be adequate funding to enhance the
performance of students who have attained
satisfactory levels of performance but who can do better and to challenge
students who exceed satisfactory levels of performance but are able to
perform at even higher levels.
B. Educational Program Staffing
The highest priority for MCPS must be to provide teachers to reduce class sizes across the county, weighted to take into account ESOL and Special Education students; included in this effort should be the resources necessary to manage appropriate class size guidelines in a way that absolute caps are established and held to. During the period of transition, as resources necessary to attain appropriate class sizes are accrued, more para-educators must be provided to enhance instruction. Further classroom staffing priorities:
· Math specialists to provide early intervention.
· Decreased use of substitute teachers;
· More reading teachers in all elementary and secondary schools;
· Funding must allow for expansion of all day kindergarten as proposed by the planned roll-out;
· Art, music and physical education teachers throughout the school system.
MCPS must not use funds appropriated for hiring new teachers or reducing class size for any other purpose.
C. Educational Resources
· As adequate educational staffing is achieved, it will become even more important to provide staff with the tools necessary to assure success.
curriculum changes, teachers must be provided
with new materials, and not just textbooks, to make it work.
needs to be paid to vertical articulation to
ensure students receive the foundation for future curriculum options.
academic rigor in middle school curriculum is
Attention to emotional and developmental needs though appropriate cannot be to the exclusion of rigorous academic standards.
academic intervention/support resources to meet the demand based on need
o Specific action/intervention plans
for students not meeting standards under the new grading and reporting
o Consistent funding and
implementation of special programs across the county. MCPS
formulas for resource allocation need to be
o Academic intervention/support such as summer learning opportunities should be available to all students based on need. Resource allocation should not be limited to Title I schools.
D. A Safe and Healthful Environment
The setting in which education takes place should not be neglected. For optimal learning our schools must be a place where the children feel safe, and their health is protected. Pursuant to this, MCPS must be able to ensure adequate maintenance and repair personnel and that adequate security personnel are provided. Further should provide:
· More cleaning and maintenance of outdated and inadequately functioning bathroom facilities.
· Support for necessary air quality improvements must be supported.
· More attention must be paid to safety hazards posed by traffic patterns as well as overcrowded and unsupervised buses.
· More resources to ensure school security, including security in portables that are outside main buildings.
· More Physical Education periods
· More attention and resources devoted to addressing discipline problems, especially at the middle school level, including the problem of gangs, bullying and risk to student safety.
remediation for lead in drinking water problem.
E. Other Support for Students
In a system with sufficient teaching resources in adequate buildings, other supports will still be needed to ensure a quality education for all children. To assist the educational staff and focus their time on working with students, MCPS needs to:
· Provide more resources for communications, especially with non-English speaking parents.
· Relieve the administrative burden on educators by adding Assistant Principals.
· Add Guidance Counselors and pupil personnel workers, and staff to address social/emotional/developmental needs at all levels.
· Increase attention and resources to students who fail at the 9th grade level to anticipate and avoid risk of later drop out.
F. Retention and Recruitment Of Qualified Staff
Development, retention, and recruitment of talented educational, administrative, and support staff are fundamental to maintaining a high quality of education in
G. Performance Assessment, Fiscal Responsibility and Securing Adequate
Funding Consistent with the goal of promoting maximum performance by all students, there must be greater accountability by MCPS for improved academic performance of students. MCPS accountability for effective
use of resources should be increased by using the inventory of all MCPS programs to reduce duplications and overlaps, and through outcome measurement rigorously evaluate programs for effectiveness and efficiency.
· MCPS must adequately assess new programs and curricula before and after implementation, and should insure that sufficient course materials, guidebooks, and implementation documents are available, and teacher training is completed before implementation.
· MCPS and BOE should develop a budget document that is more comprehensible to the public and that will allow decision -makers and the community to assess the costs and benefits of particular programs and initiatives.
The MCCPTA recognizes that an Operating Budget that satisfies all of these requirements will necessitate a continued strong commitment to education by