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Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 06/ 8/2010

MoCo school budget approved with cuts

By Washington Post editors

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 for more details.

-- Michael Birnbaum

By Washington Post editors  | June 8, 2010; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  | Tags:  budget cuts, montgomery county, montgomery county schools  
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But the CONSULTANTS budget was untouched! What great news! Even today the Board will approve over One Million Dollars in payments to Consultants! Sorry teachers.

All's good in MCPS!

Posted by: jzsartucci | June 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Classroom teachers were cut on the same day that Jerry Weast and the BOE hired several new people for the brand new "Elementary Integrated Curriculum Team!" (That would be the OVERHEAD section of the budget) And what's more, at the BOE table, Jerry Weast even said that they were the people who were going to be working on the Pearson deal! Silly taxpayers: you thought that public employees worked for YOU!

Posted by: ontarget1 | June 8, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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