The Montgomery County Board of Education approved a $2.13 billion spending plan Tuesday that is only slightly different than the one proposed by Superintendent Joshua Starr in December.
The budget represents a 2 percent increase over the current year’s spending, the smallest requested increase in more than a decade.
If approved by the County Council, increased funding would go toward keeping up with growing enrollment, as well as salary increases. Employees have agreed to forego cost-of-living salary increases for three years and step increase for the past two years as budgets have been tight.
Board president Shirley Brandman (At Large), called the proposal “a measured approach in difficult fiscal times to hold the line.”
After a series of budget workshops and public hearings, the board amended the plan to increase the amount of money designated for special education staffing in middle schools. But parents and students would see few other changes under the plan.
The proposal will soon head to the county council, which has final say about how much money schools will receive.
One of the biggest questions about school funding rests at the state level this year. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has proposed shifting a significant portion of pension costs to local governments, a change that could carry a price tag of more than $41 million for Montgomery County.