Daily journal, 12-7-11 (MCPS budget)
December 8, 2011
The big issue of the day was the budget proposal from the new superintendent of MCPS, Dr. Joshua Starr. I talk to Josh when I can at events in the community, and I’ve been impressed by his approach but also appreciative of his educational and child development philosophy. He has offered a specific critique of the prevailing dogma around education reform and No Child Left Behind that I and many parents also share.
A “budget address” by the
Theatrics aside, the new
I don’t know if we can afford any improvements yet because we don’t know how much money we will have to work with. Nevertheless, the proposal is certainly reasonable and provides a good basis for discussion going forward.
One issue that we will have to work on is the $26 million state aid penalty resulting from the council’s reduction in per-pupil local spending. The reduction was necessary to bring spending down from levels that were sustained only by revenues from a real estate and financial markets bubble. If the state does not waive the penalty, the council will have to examine ways to offset it. At the same time, competing priorities such as police, fire service, parks, libraries and more – which also have taken heavy hits during the recession – will need adequate funding. So we will have a lot on our plate in coming months! Please keep in touch as we put together our budget.