Teacher layoffs now unlikely according to Montgomery Co. schools; budget vote set for Tuesday

One day before the Montgomery County Board of Education meets to vote on its $3.3 billion budget, the school system released a statement saying “it is likely that no currently employed teachers will face a job loss.”

The statement comes after the school system updated its projections for teacher vacancies for the coming school year — that includes resignations and retirements.

The school system still plans on increasing class sizes to deal with what it calls a “budget deficit” of $30 million in the FY 2025 budget.

In a Monday briefing with reporters, Montgomery County Council President Andrew Friedson expressed frustration with the school system’s framing of the budget picture, noting that 99.2% of the school system’s budget request was already funded.

“This is a management issue, it’s not a fiscal issue,” Friedson said.

Friedson griped over MCPS’ spending priorities, noting the school board offices have been relocated to a new office at a monthly cost of $49,000 when the school system, he said, “is sitting on dozens of underutilized and vacant properties.”

Previously, MCPS officials estimated that as many as 120 teachers currently employed would be laid off. Friedson said Monday, “This idea of using hyperbolic, hypothetical scenarios to obfuscate responsibility is not helpful.”

Regarding the cost-saving measure of increasing class sizes, the school system statement released Monday explained that by holding the increases to no more than one student per class at each grade level, “we can ensure that we remain within the typical national trends for average class sizes, while still meeting the needs of our students.”

School officials said the difficult choices being considered were also a result of fiscal pressures tied to the loss of federal funding, inflation and the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” state legislation that mandates education spending levels.

The board will vote on the budget plan Tuesday at 9 a.m.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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