MoCo school budget approved with cuts
Montgomery County public schools will see larger class sizes, less support for teachers and some layoffs under a budget that was approved Tuesday afternoon by the county's Board of Education.
It is the first year-to-year budget cut in recent memory, officials said, and ends a contentious season in which the school system at one point threatened to sue the county over funding.
Average class sizes will increase by one, as the school system eliminates 252 teaching positions, and other programs also face the ax as the system deals with a 4.4 percent budget cut next year, along with an expected 2 percent increase in enrollment. The total schools' operating budget is being cut by $97 million for fiscal 2011, to $2.1 billion.
"Is this budget what we want? No, it’s not. Is it what we can afford? Yes," said Superintendent Jerry D. Weast. "It’s probably the most difficult budget I've worked on."
Staff salaries have been frozen across the board, but no one will face furloughs. Members of the Montgomery County Council had decried the lack of furloughs as unfair at a time when many county employees face them.
Maintained was a staffing cut to a popular magnet arts program at Einstein High School that had drawn significant protest, including several speakers at Tuesday's meeting. One of the program's two teachers is being reassigned elsewhere, something that fans of the program say will hurt it.
Stay with Postlocal.com for more details.
-- Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post editors
| June 8, 2010; 12:34 PM ET
Categories: Maryland | Tags: budget cuts, montgomery county, montgomery county schools
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