2017 Budget Announced


Infographic Courtesy of Budget 101.

The number of students enrolled in MCPS schools has increased greatly, leading to the need for a larger budget.

By Nathan Deychman, Sports Editor

After over three months of deliberation, MCPS released the Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget March 15.
The 2017 budget will include increased spending on instruction, with over 81 percent of the budget being allocated to the development of the instruction provided for students in MCPS.

Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers proposed the initial budget to the Board of Education Dec. 8. The proposal called for a $2.4 billion spending budget with a 4.5 percent increase in new spending designed to strengthen the system’s foundation.

According to Bowers’ recommended budget, an increase of $134.9 million is required for MCPS to fund the same level of services for an additional 2,502 students, previously negotiated agreements, rising costs in operations and strategic enhancements. The latter is somewhat offset by savings from program efficiencies and reductions.

About 65 percent of the budget is generated from the country. Approximately 27 percent comes from the state government, and three percent comes from the federal government.

There are 202 schools in the MCPS system, all of which receive different allocations of funds.

According to MCPS Budget 101, an interactive website designed to explain the budget in simple terms, MCPS funds its schools based on enrollment, need and programs.

The vast majority of the MCPS budget goes into classrooms and services that make learning easier for students.

According to Budget 101, over 90 percent of MCPS funds pay for the salaries, wages and benefits for teachers, service professionals and administrators.

Compared to previous years, the 2017 budget will allocate less money to grants and enterprise funds.
Over the last seven years, enrollment in MCPS schools has increased by over 17,000 students, causing MCPS to request more money each year to support the growing student bodies.

Additionally, the number of FARMS (Free and Reduced Meal Students) and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students has grown by 44 percent and 32 percent, respectively, over the same seven year span, making it necessary for MCPS to request even more funds to support those programs as well.

According to the finalized budget, the amount MCPS spends on every student has risen dramatically over the last several years. Every student in MCPS will have nearly $15,000 spent on them during the 2017 fiscal year.