Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Benefit Costs Choking MCPS

Fixed Charges-Benefits

Data compiled by Bob Astrove


  1. The graph starts at 10%. The trend would look less dramatic is the full scale were shown.

    That said, if the trend continued, by 2089, the entire school budget could pay for nothing but the benefits.

    Have public employee unions suggested a maximum portion of the education budget that they'll find sufficient?

  2. So the solution is to slash our benefits? Really? Three years without a raise isn't enough of a sacrifice? We're done sacrifcing. We're ready for a work action. Watch what happens next.

  3. Raises? Really? Are you aware that 1 in 10 people in our country are unemployed?

  4. And are you aware that unemployment in Montgomery County is NOT 10%. Not even close. Try 5.2% in December, down from a high of 6.2% in June.


    So yes...don't slash benefits...REALLY!

  5. How do the classroom teachers that will lose their jobs feel about this trade?

  6. Classroom teachers don't have to lose their jobs. Every budget has a cost side and a revenue side. Why does the budget hole have to be closed totally by reducing costs? We can raise more revenue too.

  7. Well then get out there and raise some revenue! When is the car wash and bake sale?

    The Board of Education does NOT have taxing authority.

    The County Executive has said the school system's budget will NOT be funded.

    So you get on out there and raise all the revenue you want. Then donate it to the County.


  8. The "we" in the prior comment did not mean the Board of Education. It meant the County. The County's budget has the hole; the County should raise additional revenue. How about the citizens of Montgomery County asking the County Executive and the County Council to fund the budget?

  9. With what? Monopoly money?

    Sorry, I must have missed the Apple Ballot flyers that said "Vote for Us! We'll raise your taxes!"

    Did voters in November ask to have their taxes raised? Fees added? Fines increased?

    Did you notice the vote on the Ambulance Fee? As a reminder, that was a NO.

  10. And let's just note - Montgomery County citizens need to pay more in taxes because MCPS administrators need to eat out at more restaurants? More administrators need car allowances? More administrators need to travel to conferences? More no bid procurements without contracts?

    Please explain why these expenditures are vital to a public school system that should be focused on teaching students in classrooms at schools.

  11. First post on this topic.

    Clearly there are savings to be had throughout the system on the items this website brings up daily. Food, clothing, travel, credit card abuse, etc.

    Probably only a few million dollars or so, but what a precedent and positive message it would send.

    Raises certainly aren't going to happen with a $300 million gap to close and given there are no raises anywhere in the new teacher contract.

    But when MCPS broke the contract and didn't fund the raises (saving nearly 100 million) the teachers gave up those raises without a fight and extracted a contractual promise to keep benefits the same for the next few years.

    If the county breaks this contract by requiring more benefit payments then they have essentially reneged on their word.

  12. @ 4:45

    The $300 million gap is at the County level. No one has asked MCPS to make up that gap.

    Suggested cuts that we have put on this blog add up and the purpose is to show that if someone wanted to close the MCPS gap they could without impacting classrooms.

    Those "few million" here and there that you see add up. And we have more to show you in the coming weeks of this budget cycle.

  13. Janis,

    Agreed that the county budget is what is being talked about, but the MCPS budget comes from the county. Several times in the past few years the county has asked MCPS to make cuts. They are linked to each other.

    No argument with you about the money that is wasted and could be saved in MCPS. Doubt it would add up to the $82 that MCPS claims to be short though. Who knows. I think that's the problem.

  14. The Organizational Reform Commission is proposing these changes to deal with the shortfall: HOC, get rid of it. Commission for Women. get rid of it. Park Police: fold them into the county police dept. According to the ORC, getting rid of the Womens Commission, which counsels women, provides job training, and offers safe haven and counseling for abused and unemployed women and their families, would save the county $800,000. In contrast, the MCPS PR Department is $10M per annum. See where I am going with this? Voters, your choice.
    Paula Bienenfeld

  15. @4:55 - Again, the Board of Education is not a taxing authority. They have no "word" when it comes to raising revenue. If they commit beyond what the County has they have no - legal - way of making up the difference.

    Would you advocate for the Board of Education to have taxing authority in Montgomery County?

  16. Janis you are taking a rather narrow view of the budget process to uphold your argument.

    Of course the BOE isn't a taxing authority. In some parts of the country it is, but not here.

    I'm advocating that you can't break teachers contracts for the 2nd time in three years.


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