The Board of Education has requested $12.6 million in increased funding in order to implement the following programs to improve student learning and close the achievement gaps. The County Executive has proposed a budget for MCPS that increases local per pupil spending to fund same services, but that does not include funding for these program improvements. The County Council must now decide if they can find a way to support these investments in our students.
Board of Education’s FY15 Budget Request for Program Improvements:
- $3 million to purchase new technology, mainly tablets, needed for implementation of the required new PARCC assessments in 2015;
- $1,252,330 to increase support for students’ social and emotional development by adding 5.5 elementary school counselors, 5 school psychologists, and 6 pupil personnel workers;
- $800,000 to attract and retain high performing teacher leaders who take on added responsibilities in our 57 highest poverty schools, through implementation of the Teacher Career Lattice;
- $300,000 to provide support and coaching to Innovation and Interventions Schools Networks;
- $150,000 for a Special Education Program and Services Review, to ensure that students with disabilities have access to high-quality, rigorous instruction and the supports that enable them to be successful;
- $125,000 to provide professional development to staff in cultural competency: understanding how to set high expectations for all students in our diverse community.
- $977,145 to reduce English and Mathematics class sizes in the district’s highest poverty schools;
- $996,918 to increase observation, support and coaching of classroom teachers by High School Resource Teachers and Staff Development Teachers ;
- $136,534, to support the redesign Alternative Programs and create a program focused on individualized instruction and support to students;
- $49,500 for the redesign of Wheaton High School based on project-based learning, and establish a model for engaging students in instruction that builds academic excellence and creative problem-solving skills.;
- $39,150 to add STEM Clubs in high schools to provide interested students with opportunities to extend and enrich the instruction they receive in classrooms in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
- $1.45 million to provide focused support to ESOL students; through the additional ESOL staffing in 21 middle schools;
- $704,167 to expand the Middle School Reform model through additional Middle School Content Specialists and Team Leaders who observe, support and coach other classroom teachers.
- $541,677 to restore critical positions in smaller elementary schools that have been reduced over the past five years, including Reading Specialists, Media Specialists, Counselors, and Staff Development Teachers;
- $456,000 to expand the compacted (i.e. accelerated) Mathematics curriculum to Grade 5;
- $251,832 to support instruction in targeted elementary schools that serve higher special education and ESOL populations, through creating of additional team leader positions;
- $140,441 to add two additional Pre-Kindergarten classes to increase the number of available slots to meet the need of eligible young children from low-income families.
Community Partnerships and Engagement:
- $532,230 to increase staffing to develop business and community connections and provide support to parents;
- $148,480 to expand transportation for students in Excel Beyond the Bell, a collaborative effort that provides high-quality after-school programs in middle schools that are impacted by poverty;
- $118,157 to expand the Kennedy Cluster Project, a multiagency partnership that provides students and families with access to healthcare, housing, financial assistance, and other social services. These funds would extend the program into the Watkins Mill Cluster.