Friday, August 31, 2012

ABC 7: 45 Minute Restraint of Small Child with Down Syndrome Violated State Law

Ashman wanted to know why Rachel Carson Elementary School (RCES), which has been over capacity for years, is not part of a feasibility study...

The Town Courier:  MCPS Offers Gaithersburg Update
According to Craig Shuman Jr., director of the MCPS Division of Construction, the Gaithersburg High School renovation project is on schedule. The stadium field AstroTurf was installed in late July and is ready for use. Whether Gaithersburg can play its football home opener is still undecided due to parking and other construction-related matters... 
...RCES OvercrowdingFollowing an overview through 2017 from Bruce Crispell, the MCPS director of the Division of Long-range Planning, gave an overview of Gaithersburg schools through 2017, Council member Jud Ashman asked if overcrowding was the main factor in whether or not a facility would be considered for school additions. Specifically, Ashman wanted to know why Rachel Carson Elementary School (RCES), which has been over capacity for years, is not part of a feasibility study. RCES was built for 668 students and, according to MCPS senior planner Debbie Szyfer, enrollment for the upcoming school year was projected at 914 students.
As of Aug. 7, however, Szyfer said the school’s enrollment was already over projection estimates by 19 students. (At press time, Principal Larry Chep said RCES has 944 students enrolled for the upcoming school year.)
Crispell said he understood the overcrowding situation at the school but that, in this situation, there is not much that could be done...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Parents Coalition Annual List of School Fees for 2012

Did you think that our new Superintendent of Schools, Josh Starr, would shake things up here in MoCo?   Did you think he might chart his own course?

Wrong. Looks like its more of the same old same old. Our students are still not getting their constitutionally guaranteed free education again this year.

Here is the annual back to school fees list for high school students.
2012 Highschool Fees

And here is the back to school fee list for middle school students.
2012 Middle School Fees

Are the lists accurate? Readers will need to report back whether they were charged additional fees not on the list.


So - what is a parent to do, other than try to transfer their students into schools that charge less than others?

Ask for a waiver. Students are not supposed to be denied educational opportunities based on whether a fee is paid. If you do choose to pay a fee, consider it a donation.


Want to compare to last year's lists? Try here for high school and here for middle school.

Note to Emily and Mitch Rales - when you look over the lists, you will see that the majority of the fees are charged in the arts related classes. If you (or any other business person in MoCo) would like to help out students, perhaps you could adopt a school or a class on the list, and save Josh and his staff from having to beg for the payments.

Monday, August 27, 2012

State BOE Dumps MABE Membership

Bravo to the Maryland State Board of Education!  
They have dropped their $10,000 a year membership in the private club for Boards of Education known as the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE)!  
Remember, the MCPS Board of Education paid $48,062 in dues to this club in Fiscal Year 2012.
Below is the memo from MABE announcing that the Maryland State Board of Education will no longer be participating in this club.  The memo says that all of the other club members have to increase their dues to make up for the State Board dropping out. 

It's your tax dollars, do you think that they should be spent on a private club for BOE members, or should your tax dollars go to fund teachers, textbooks and classrooms?  Maybe the MCPS Board of Education should drop their membership in this private club too? 

State Board of Education Drops MABE Membership

Saturday, August 25, 2012

ACT Finds Most Students Still Not Ready for College

Student performance on the ACT essentially held steady this year, with slight improvement shown in the math and science parts of the college-entrance exam.
Still, 60 percent of the class of 2012 that took the test failed to meet benchmarks in two of the four subjects tested, putting them in jeopardy of failing in their pursuit of a college degree and careers.
The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2012, released today by the Iowa City, Iowa-based nonprofit testing organization ACT Inc., includes performance information from students in the spring graduating class who took the ACT as sophomores, juniors, or seniors. This year, 1.67 million seniors or 52 percent of the U.S. graduating class took the exam...
Education Week article continues here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gazette Mis-states Outside Counsel Special Education Fees

No wonder taxpayers in Montgomery County don't see the urgency in reining in MCPS's out-of-control, scorched-earth special education litigators. For those unfamiliar with MCPS's practice, MCPS hires pricey private law firms to litigate special education disputes against families of disabled children. Finally, the Board of Education has begun to take a small interest in this cascade of dollars flowing to a few outside attorneys. At yesterday's BOE meeting, the topic of special education legal expenses was discussed before voting to approve four contracts to provide these services.

Unfortunately, the Gazette's reporting on the topic was not entirely accurate. The Gazette reported: "The school system spends about $300,000 annually to pay for the outside defense attorney fees for these cases, said Christina A. Richardson, associate superintendent of special education and student services for the school system."

Not Exactly.

Take a look at the totals for just one outside lawyer alone for the last several years. Payments to Jeffrey Krew, LLC
FY 2004 $ 489,526
FY 2005 $ 470,398
FY 2006 $ 706,921
FY 2007 $ 566,230
FY 2008 $ 629,041
FY 2009 $ 392,770
FY 2010 $ 632,041
FY 2011 $ 359,018
FY 2012 $ 339,853
And FY 2012 is not even over yet! From a high of $706K to a low of $359K over the last 8 fiscal years, that hardly represents "about $300K annually."

When contacted, the Gazette reporter said she only wanted to say what the outside counsel fees are currently, not in the past. Well: currently they are over $300K. And the fiscal year isn't over yet. So, if you are really interested in how much MCPS is paying boutique law firms to fight families of disabled children, go straight to the source: the Board of Education legal fees reports HERE and HERE.

MCPS will hire contractors if it can’t find teachers

Gazette:  3 days to fill 50 positions in Montgomery schools

School system approves $625,000 in outside help

Gazette:  School system may change way it litigates special education cases
...After discussion, the full board approved $625,000 for the upcoming school year for contractors who will provide the legal services; that cost includes the attorney fees as well as other legal costs, which may include parent reimbursements or tuition settlements, Richardson said.
The school system now has 10 open special education cases, five of which are awaiting hearings and five of which are continuing from last year, Richardson said.
The school system had 11 hearings last year, she said...

Doug Duncan: It's a "no brainer"! Cell Towers on School Playgrounds.

Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan is now apparently in the business of hawking cell towers for a company called Milestone Communications.  
And, Mr. Duncan isn't just recommending cell towers, he's going one step further and recommending that they be placed on public school playgrounds.  He says it's a "no brainer" according to the Milestone write up shown below. 

Milestone Communications has "partnered" with the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE).  MABE is a private members only club that the MCPS Board of Education joins every year.  Annual dues to our BOE?  $48,062 in FY 2012.

By law, our local Board of Education is to make decisions about which vendors to do business with through a public bidding process.  The MABE "partnership" appears to be trying to circumvent the public process by "partnering" with vendors with out a public vetting.  MABE is a private club and, as such, they don't have any public accountability for their decision making.  We don't know how they decided to "partner" with this company, and we don't know how much money, if any, they are receiving for this partnership.  

Absent, of course, is any public process as to whether parents in Maryland actually want cell towers/telecommunications transmission compounds on public school playgrounds.  
Why is MABE subverting the public process?

Dropping the $48,062 in dues to this BOE club is a no brainer. 
-------
MABE Partners with MilestoneThe Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) is partnering with Milestone to share exciting revenue earning opportunities with Maryland's School Districts.
Milestone's wireless tower development program earns school boards recurring revenue streams. Last year, the program earned Fairfax County Public Schools over a $1 million.
"Using school assets to create revenue is a no brainer," said Doug Duncan, former County Executive for Montgomery County.
Milestone has been partnering with school districts for over ten years. It has developed over 25 stealth wireless towers.
To read more about the partnership and other Milestone news, download our October newsletter.

New Concussion Guidelines in Maryland Schools

NBC 4:  Coaches must be trained to recognize injuries

Cell towers atop Baltimore public schools questioned


In there on the agenda Tuesday night along with contracts to buy sports uniforms and bread products was an item that caught citizen activist Kim Trueheart’s eye – the Baltimore City School Board was considering lease agreements to put cell phone towers on three city schools.
“These are schools in some of the city’s poorest communities – Cherry Hill and Walbrook,” Trueheart said. “Were any considerations given to the health effects of these towers on the students? Would contracts like these even be considered in affluent communities like Roland Park?”...
Baltimore Brew article continues at this link.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

To Stay a High-Performing School District, MCPS Must Support its Mathletes


...I began to wonder if MCPS really is interested and committed to standing behind its most academically-gifted students.
Have we lost our minds?...
Bethesda Patch article by Joseph Hawkins continues here. 

Board President wants 2 1/2 Hour Closed Session Today

That's a lot that the Montgomery County Board of Education doesn't want you to hear about.  Remember Closed Sessions are a choice. They aren't required.  In fact, the preference in Maryland law is for Open meetings of public bodies.  In order to go in to a Closed Session, the Board has to take a public vote.  The August 23, 2012 vote is scheduled for 9 AM.

The Board President wants the door closed for 2 1/2 hours!

On the proposed Closed Session Agenda is "receive legal advice on various litigation matters pending in the Montgomery County Circuit Court."  That one item alone will probably take up the bulk of the 2 1/2 hours.  The Board of Education is involved in a number of lawsuits in the Circuit Court.  Why so much litigation?  Why so much behind closed doors? 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MCPS Payments to Jeffrey Krew, LLC

For your information from the Montgomery County Public Schools Funding Accountability and Transparency database (thank you Delegate Al Carr) and from Board of Education consent agenda meeting memos.

Payments to just one of the Board of Education outside law firms that has handled most of the litigation against families of children seeking special education services from FY 2004  through FY 2012.  


Payments to Jeffrey Krew, LLC 

FY 2004      $ 489,526
FY 2005      $ 470,398
FY 2006      $ 706,921
FY 2007      $ 566,230
FY 2008      $ 629,041
FY 2009      $ 392,770
FY 2010      $ 632,041
FY 2011      $ 359,018
FY 2012      $ 339,853

Board to Spend $625,000 Fighting Children, No Discussion


On the August 23, 2012, Board of Education Consent Agenda (No discussion item) is authorization for MCPS to spend $625,000 on outside attorneys to fight families of children needing special education services. 
For over a decade, the Board of Education has been spending huge sums every year to fight families without any public discussion to justify this spending. 
This year, for the first time in over a decade, the Board actually put out a Request for Proposals seeking bids for law firms to provide these services.  As was expected, the same firms that have worked for the Board for over a decade were awarded the contract after the bidding.  One new firm was added to the list, but it is unclear if they will actually do any of the work for the Board.  
The primary outside lawyer in MCPS special education litigation has been Jeffrey Krew, LLC.  That firm, was included on the list of "winners" after this year's bidding.  
But, a fundamental discussion is absent.  Why? Why does the Board of Education feel that over $600,000 of education funding should be spent in a year fighting families of children that need special education services?  As we have posted to this blog on numerous occasions, this litigation is often abusive and a flat out waste of precious education resources.  
Board of Education, step up and explain to Montgomery County parents and guardians why you continue to authorize this abusive litigation?  


Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Sherr, LLP
Nussbaum Law, LLC
PK Law

Total $625,000

Carney, Kelehan already works for BOE.
Jeffrey Krew, LLC already works for BOE on special education cases.
Nussbaum Law, LLC looks to be same firm that has worked for BOE before.
PK Law appears to be a new firm.

Superintendent recommends against planning board that county council change policy

Gazette:  Montgomery school facility payments back up for debate
...Starr will recommend to the Montgomery County Board of Education on Thursday that it ask the County Council to change its policy that restricts the way the school system spends money it gets from developers that build in crowded areas.
Starr wrote in a memo to the board that he wants the school system to be able to spend the money, known as school facility payments, “more broadly” in the county, and not just in the area, or school cluster, they are collected.
Some of those who were opposed to the change before still say they are not budging, including County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D) of Silver Spring.
Ervin said she hadn’t yet reviewed Starr’s recommendations, but it did not sound like a workable solution.
“It gives the school system full authority and full responsibility to determine in a subjective way where the funds get spent,” Ervin said. “I think that would be very difficult for the council to agree on that.”...

MCPS FY 2012: Hess Construction Got $81 Million

FY 2012: MCPS Payments to Vendors that received over $25,000 in fiscal year.

Here's how the Board of Education spent some of your tax dollars in Fiscal Year 2012. 
This is not a complete list of expenditures. This is only a list of vendors where payments were made over $25,000, as required to be made public by the Maryland Funding and Transparency Act.

For fun, take some of these vendors' names and see if you can find evidence of them in Board of Education minutes showing votes approving this spending.  Some of them will show up, others won't.

The highlighted vendors are just to pick out a few that might be of interest...some are linked back to previous blog posts with information on those expenditures. 

Let us know what you find of interest on this FY 2012 list. 
(FY2011 list can be found here.  FY2010 list can be found here.)

Hess Construction Company Inc $ 81,684,414
Oak Contracting LLC $ 23,811,453
Dustin Construction Inc $ 20,321,525
Henley Construction Co Inc $ 17,062,973
Pepco Energy Services Inc $ 13,245,476
Meridian Construction Co Inc $  12,864,287
American Truck & Bus Inc $ 12,092,942
Data Networks Inc $ 11,039,972
Deutsche Bank NTC $ 10,732,374
Mansfield Oil Co $ 10,479,370
Pepco 9,693,725
Banc of America Public Capital Corp 9,162,754
Sheppard Pratt Health System Inc 7,734,160
Keller Brothers Inc 7,071,425
Washington Gas Light Company 6,942,648
American Express 6,634,939
Dell Marketing LP 5,697,764
Shapiro and Duncan Inc 5,678,947
Ivymount School 5,176,769
Keller Construction Management LLC 4,519,785
Douron Incorporated 3,958,854
Foundation School 3,941,359
Dairy Maid Dairy Inc 3,575,096
Washington Gas Energy Services Inc 3,571,602
Kennedy Krieger Institute 3,565,011
Dell Financial Services LLC 3,405,731
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission 3,120,806
State Of Maryland 3,109,618
Walker Willis Corp 3,030,770
Verizon Maryland Inc 2,717,973
Pleasants Construction Inc 2,706,905
DISYS Solutions Inc 2,470,368
Tuckman-Barbee Construction Co 2,423,231
Netcom Technologies Inc 2,346,711
Orndorff & Spaid Inc 2,285,723
Metro Metal Services Inc 2,250,711
J.A. Scheibel Inc 2,243,770
Grimm and Parker Architecture Inc 2,112,168
Unisource Worldwide Inc 2,111,060
Corporate Office Properties LP 2,044,099
Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children 1,945,902
M&M Welding & Fabricators 1,877,602
EMJAY Engineering and Construction Company Inc 1,821,786
Ryco Associates Inc 1,778,578
Playground Specialists Inc. 1,731,483
Bell TechLogix Inc 1,572,829
Community Support Services 1,572,272
US Modular Group East Inc 1,568,870
The McGraw Hill Companies Inc 1,446,783
Towson Mechanical Inc 1,351,846
K Neal International Trucks Inc 1,345,323
Mallick Plumbing & Heating Inc 1,344,054
CDCI Inc 1,318,582
DuBois Construction Inc 1,309,493
J E Wood & Sons Co Inc 1,238,047
TA Western LLC/Mcshea Management, Inc 1,204,212
Maryland State Retirement and Pension System 1,197,515
Treatment & Learning Centers Inc 1,185,225
SPC Incorporated 1,184,339
Prevost Construction Co 1,143,511
McGrath RentCorp 1,107,085
Delmar Architects 1,106,189
Schwans Food Company 1,051,192
William F Klingensmith Inc 1,051,097
Unisource Services LLC 1,046,734
Carpet Experts Inc 1,016,720
Centennial Contractors Enterprises Inc 964,577
Modular Space Corporation 959,420
Pyramid Paper Company 942,825
Pathways Schools 938,535
OfficeMax 905,596
Shorehaven Inc 890,747
Guest Services Inc 888,270
EMH Environmental Inc 870,296
Walton Madden Cooper Robinson Poness Inc 865,015
S Freedman & Sons Inc 848,738
Benedictine School 845,537
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company 842,861
EELDS, LLC 842,830
Baker & Taylor Inc 830,870
Dori Foods Inc 830,433
Truman Arnold Companies 829,641
Samaha Associates PC 814,561
Advoserv 803,146
Hartford Computer Hardware Inc 792,961
Microsoft Corporation 789,811
Allegheny Power 785,335
R D Bean Inc 775,700
Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett and Scherr LLP 730,679
Royalle Dining Services Inc 729,830
Northwest Evaluation Assoc 721,000
Rda Corporation 717,568
Brook Lane Health Services Inc 689,975
Maggin Construction Co Inc 669,876
Reginald S Lourie Center for Infants & Young Children 658,566
Muse Architects PC 653,065
Pearson Education Inc 639,785
Johnson Truck Center LLC 634,452
CDW Government LLC 631,668
Finley Asphalt & Sealing Inc 629,819
HCGI Hartford 625,842
J & L Services Inc 624,572
Brinjac Engineering Inc 622,642
Follett Educational Services Inc 610,385
H & S Bakery Inc 575,625
Playcore Wisconsin Inc 572,006
Tilley Chemical Co Inc 568,206
Vinitech Inc 564,700
Wireless Generation Inc 557,477
Saint Coletta of Greater Washington Inc 556,519
Daly Computers Inc 547,970
Presidio Networked Solutions Inc 545,220
Nasco 539,882
Comcast 535,008
Tito Contractors Inc 533,783
Kingmor Supply Inc 527,529
Interstate Corp 522,310
Smith & Haines Inc 520,289
Service Tire Truck Center Inc 510,644
The Tree House Inc 504,229
Octagon Services Inc 504,200
Tex Am Construction Co Inc 503,162
Phillips Programs 502,168
Moseley Architects PC 490,981
iAssessment LLC 487,500
FPC Distribution 469,783
Potomac Disposal Inc 467,046
School Specialty Inc 463,389
University of Maryland 456,877
Holt Paper & Chemical Co 455,663
Xerox Corporation 447,770
Clinton Learning Solutions LLC 446,853
Scholastic Inc 444,096
EIS Office Solutions Inc 442,425
Colossal Contractors Inc 439,360
Sharp Electronics Corp 429,772
Acme Paper & Supply Co 429,387
George Washington University 428,750
GlobalScholar Inc 426,720
Maryland Unemployment Ins Adm 424,840
American Tennis Courts Inc 424,125
Pro-Air Inc 417,404
Hord Coplan Macht Inc 416,510
BGE 410,776
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation 402,585
Mythics Inc 397,698
Elcon Enterprises Inc 397,602
Arc of Montgomery County Inc 391,495
Johns Hopkins University 388,601
Hadley Farms Inc 387,635
Boland Trane Services Inc 386,663
Lakeshore Learning Materials 383,942
Form Plastics Company 380,742
Leonard Paper Co 379,345
Triplenet Pricing LLC 376,685
VSC Fire and Security Inc 373,975
Pediatric Therapy Associates LLC 373,251
Williams Scotsman Inc 371,064
Rolyn Companies Inc 366,374
Ascom Hasler Mailing Systems 365,000
W L Gary Company Inc 360,696
Linwood Childrens Center Inc 360,122
Calico Industries Inc 356,927
Criswell Chevrolet 355,145
Kellogg Sales Co 354,961
The Children's Guild Inc 345,913
Gauthier-Alvarado & Assoc Inc 343,000
ConAgra Food Sales Inc 341,601
Gale/Cengage Learning 340,062
Krew, Jeffrey A 339,853
Central National Gottesman Inc 338,765
J.G. Parks & Son 336,964
Blackboard Connect Inc 334,832
CTB/Mcgraw-Hill 329,146
RJ Crowley Inc 328,452
Woods Services Inc 322,923
TCV LLC 321,593
Recovery Point Systems 320,580
Rich Product Corp 314,963
Control Sources LLC 314,455
Storm Water Management Facilities Repair Group Inc 311,072
National Children's Center Inc 309,768
The K Group Architects 306,945
House of the Good Shepherd of the City of Baltimore 301,339
Proffitt & Associates Architects PC 298,106
McCain Foods USA Inc 297,126
JR Simplot Company 288,043
International Baccalaureate 287,692
Lawson Software Americas Inc 282,025
Greenwood Publishing Group Inc 281,186
Best Battery Company Inc 277,725
Superior Supply Ltd 277,345
Tyson Foods Inc 277,267
Glover Equipment Sales Grp LLC 274,211
Standard Stationery Supply Co 272,347
Weyer's Floor Service Inc 272,086
Sprint Nextel Corp 271,340
United States Postal Service 268,580
Control Systems Sales II Corporation 268,213
Ridge School 267,864
JK Architects & Associates 266,811
Lukmire Partnership Inc 265,736
Rubeling & Associates Inc 265,375
Lee, Ivin 264,779
Lab School Of Washington 261,839
Building Dynamics LLC 260,959
Capitol Document Solutions LLC 260,266
Web Electric LLC 260,113
Classic Custom Products 253,391
Yoti N N & Associates Inc 252,319
Air Filter Maintenance Inc 252,204
Venable LLP 250,597
WLC LLC 249,992
Hood College 248,688
Cengage Learning Inc 246,415
Edline LLC 243,250
Discovery Education 241,613
Perfection Learning Corp 241,210
D&H Distributing Company 239,242
Net Results Inc 236,208
Taleo Corporation 235,550
Jennie-O Turkey Store LLC 234,986
Wells Fargo Business Cr Inc 234,467
The Learning Center for the Deaf Inc 228,636
B2E Consulting Engineers PC 226,788
Aztech Datasystems Inc 224,603
Family Support Center Inc 221,787
Atlantech Online Inc 217,188
Ricoh USA Inc 217,125
NCS Pearson Incorporated 215,545
Eastern Food Services Inc 215,022
ProQuest LLC 212,733
Carolina Imaging 211,246
M R Enterprises Inc 208,258
Hercules Fence Of Maryland LLC 207,911
B&H Photo Video Inc 203,238
Harbour School 201,995
Maryland Energy Administration 201,536
Johnson & Towers Inc 200,558
Lindsay Ford LLC 199,223
National Art & School Supplies 199,042
Rocky Mountain Ram LLC 198,913
Cargill Kitchen Solutions Inc 198,839
Advance Food Company 198,457
Ridgefield Brand Corporation 197,430
Burdette, Koehler, Murphy & Associates Inc 195,218
Let's Do Lunch Inc 194,202
BeeryRio Inc 193,306
City Of Rockville 191,568
Towson State University 190,659
Oce North America Inc 189,819
Smolen Emr Ilkovitch Architects 188,365
Research For Better Teaching 187,079
Diversified Educational Systems Inc 186,510
Washington Music Sales Center Inc 183,507
McDaniel College Inc 183,450
WB Mason Company Inc 183,426
Northern Virginia Supply Inc 183,166
Board of Education of Baltimore County 182,942
Electric Advantage Inc 182,937
Moseley Architects of Maryland Inc 182,934
Out of the Shell LLC 182,234
WT Cox Subscriptions 181,852
T L Garden & Assoc 181,334
Meridian Surveys Inc 179,670
Procom Corporation 179,028
Maxim Healthcare Services 178,049
W W Grainger Inc 175,915
Project Lead The Way Inc 175,014
Nextel Communications of the Mid-Atlantic Inc 174,497
Potomac Edison 174,306
Teltronic Inc 174,298
Grieves Worrall Wright & O'Hatnick Inc 173,954
Abacus-N-Bytes Inc 173,092
Dawkins Management Inc 170,156
RCC1545 LLC 169,463
Baptist Convention of MD/DE 169,049
Riverside Paper Supply 168,728
Fisher Scientific Company 168,617
College Entrance Examination Board 166,982
Language Line Services 164,276
Sun Edison LLC 163,862
Glennco Inc 163,586
Clampett Industries LLC 158,895
Sempco Inc 158,372
Crisis Prevention Institute 156,154
Copiers Plus Inc 152,600
M B Limited Partnership 151,989
Carolina Biological Supply Co 151,371
American Combustion Industries Inc 149,775
Arts & Humanities Council Of Montgomery County 149,775
James Posey Associates Inc 149,650
Regency Cab Inc 146,960
Secure Medical Care 145,920
Norton Land Design LLC 145,695
Briggs Ice Cream Co 145,268
Phonak Inc 145,013
Para-Med Medical Transportation Inc 143,984
AmeriGas Propane LP 140,926
AT&T Mobility 140,541
AFP Industries Inc 140,135
SHI International Corp 139,974
Ricoh Americas Corporation 138,966
Verizon Wireless 138,100
National Center On Institution & Alternatives 136,561
United Solutions LLC 136,410
Chelsea School 136,234
Mercer (US) Inc 136,054
Computer Associates 135,703
Episcopal Center For Children 135,460
Scantron Corporation 135,360
Chesapeake Communications Inc 133,624
Sweeney Brothers Inc 133,328
Automotive Support Services Inc 133,097
Gartner Inc 131,000
McDonough Bolyard Peck Inc 130,968
Apex Companies LLC 130,177
Zeager Brothers Inc 130,173
AON Consulting 129,938
F L Chamberlain Center Inc 129,714
Enernoc Inc 129,625
McCrone Inc 129,301
Heartland Payment Systems Inc 129,067
Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC 126,438
American Reprographics Inc 126,406
Triumph College Admissions 125,804
En Net Services 125,582
Ross Contracting Inc 124,304
Mead Tree & Turf Care Inc 123,597
JM Smucker Company 120,251
Associated Catholic Charities Inc 119,840
Quill Corp 118,334
Cole Roofing Co Inc 117,705
Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission 116,051
ISOindustries Inc 116,002
Coughlan Companies Inc 115,414
Shafer Troxell & Howe Inc 113,926
Maryland School For The Blind 113,037
The Critical Thinking Consortium 112,048
Nicholas Pipino & Associates Inc 111,656
Steel Products Inc 111,607
S & S Tire Service,Inc 110,638
Montgomery College 110,286
Gaithersburg Farmers Supply Inc 109,617
HMH Supplemental Publishers Inc 109,211
JTM Provisions Company Inc 108,289
Envision Technology 107,003
Crystal Springs Water 105,307
Archipelago Learning Inc 105,249
Strathmore Hall Foundation Inc 105,000
Ronald A Williams Ltd 104,907
BMR Inc 104,102
Middleton & Meads Co Inc 102,517
Apple Inc 101,302
Board of Child Care of the United Methodist Church Inc 100,714
Transilwrap Co Inc 99,994
Systcom Inc 99,957
OMF Contractors Inc 99,420
Peterson Farm Fresh Inc 99,066
Guitar Center Inc 98,957
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP 98,344
R & S Auto & Truck Spring Works Inc 95,732
Tech 4 Learning,Inc 95,621
Sundance/Newbridge Eductional Publishing LLC 95,260
Community Products LLC 94,310
SBC Systems Company,Inc 93,037
Gipe Associates Inc 92,587
Brickman Group Holdings Inc 91,595
Invo Healthcare Associates Inc 90,886
Science Applications International Corp 90,537
Reliability Contractors Inc 89,790
Land O'Lakes Inc 89,606
Herman Born & Sons Inc 89,179
FCC Environmental LLC 89,165
Mental Health Association Of Montgomery County 88,500
Bowman Sales & Equipment Inc 88,448
Capstone Press Inc 88,042
W H Kretch Company LLC 86,755
Vital Signs LLC 85,425
DLT Solutions LLC 84,583
Summit Lake Camp 84,555
Intac Inc 84,490
Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. 84,131
Vanguard Modular Building Systems LLC 84,031
AdvancePierre Foods Inc 83,714
Anne Arundel Co Public School 82,983
Adventist HealthCare Inc 81,382
Puritano Media Group Inc 81,340
XXI Office Plaza Associates 81,301
BSN Sports 81,295
Mendoza Ribas Farinas & Associates 80,779
S&E Paper Inc 79,249
Hurley Company 78,422
J.S.B Industries Inc 75,987
Goodman Food Products Inc 75,766
Aireco Supply Inc 75,658
Scholastic Library Publishing 75,337
Ease Technologies Inc 75,168
H Schrier & Company Inc 74,549
Mather Jr, William S 73,526
Carrier Corporation 72,549
McKay, Dennis E 72,506
Winchester Homes Inc 72,500
Naviance Inc 72,348
Modern Door & Equipment Sales Inc 71,608
The George B Thomas Sr Learning Academy Inc 71,000
Wausau Tile 70,755
Fitness Resource Inc 70,499
Dade Paper Co 70,103
Schneider Electric Buildings Critical Systems, Inc 69,760
Barnes & Noble Booksellers USA Inc 68,371
NSDAR Treasurer General 68,000
Interstate Office Supply 67,569
Maryland Correctional Enterprises 67,531
Graybar Electric Company Inc 67,465
Wenger Corporation 67,092
Chesapeake Ceramic Supply Inc 67,076
National Speech & Language Therapy Center 66,496
Carroll County Foods LLC 65,464
Washington County Board of Education 65,462
CN Robinson Lighting Supply Co 65,066
George Mason University 64,187
Highway & Safety Services Inc 64,001
BFPE International 63,927
Ferguson Enterprises Inc 62,706
Math Teachers Press Inc 61,251
Education Consulting Services Inc 60,716
Feesers Inc 60,638
Lee Technologies 60,146
Identity Inc 60,125
Bridges Transitions Co 60,000
Marriott Foundation For People 60,000
Facts On File Inc 59,692
Eschool Solutions Inc 59,299
Commercial Cabling & Sound Inc 58,928
Allen & Shariff Engineering LLC 58,613
Audio Visual Innovations Inc 58,407
Reynolds Consulting Engineers Inc 58,085
Funds For Learning LLC 58,000
Abdo Publishing Company 57,872
Chesapeake Treatment Centers 57,175
Charles County Public Schools 57,090
SMS Systems Maintenance Services Inc 56,625
BMS Cat Inc 56,365
Safe Schools LLC 56,250
Dillon, Alice 55,981
Rosen Publishing Group 55,975
LVI Environmental Services Inc 55,843
Sports Imports Inc 55,753
Big Stuff Inc 55,393
EasyLobby Inc 55,220
Buckhorn Inc 55,158
School Health Corporation 54,934
Really Good Stuff Inc 54,845
Cambridge Global Services Inc 54,668
Sidus Group LLC 53,600
Maryland School For The Deaf 53,431
Board Of Education Prince George's 53,127
VSA Inc 53,091
Tri Rehab Of Germantown Inc 53,046
Partition Plus Inc 52,795
Royal Glass Co 52,660
John W Brawner Contracting Company Inc 52,548
Genesis Il Inc 52,478
TSRC Inc 52,256
Mayer-Johnson LLC 52,196
Great Books Foundation 51,360
Perich, Michael P 51,337
Home Health Connection Inc 51,042
Continuum Pediatric Nursing 50,841
3M Company 50,776
W.B. Hunt Co., Inc 50,689
Renewable Choice Energy Inc 50,310
Capitol Cable & Technology Inc 49,918
Pritchett Controls Inc 49,236
National Educational Music Co 48,851
Burnette, Howard E 48,540
Maryland Association of Boards of Education 48,062
Cannon Sports Inc 47,963
NZI Construction Corp 47,770
Bottomline Technologies 47,713
American Scientific LLC 47,117
School Media Associates LLC 46,916
Egel, Andrew L 46,613
East West Telecommunications Inc 46,138
iParadigms LLC 46,099
DGS Educational Products 45,552
RMC Research Corporation 45,498
Formost Graphic Comm Inc 44,858
Ark Systems Inc 44,782
Penn Camera Inc 44,598
ADTEK Engineers Inc 44,542
Trane US Inc 44,424
Environmental Group Inc 44,174
Bob McCloskey Agency LLC 43,979
School & Office Services Inc 43,847
Havtech Corp 43,800
Laniado Wholesale Corporation 43,324
Vehicle Maintenance Program Inc 43,180
Woodbourne Center Inc 43,174
United Refrigeration Inc 43,062
Blue Star Group Inc 42,958
Maxxess Systems Inc 42,739
Follett Library Resources 42,297
Selective Wrecking & Abatement LLC 42,194
EBSCO Publishing 42,094
Exchange Place Joint Venture 42,075
Busy Service Inc 41,665
Total Kitchen Care LLC 41,600
B & R Associates Service 41,475
Rolling Doors Of MD Inc 41,436
Thomas Sr, George B 41,123
Home Depot USA Inc 40,972
Kaplan Early Learning Co 40,297
Marshall Cavendish Corp 40,275
RK Payroll Solutions Inc 39,168
Drexel University 39,000
Chesapeake Automotive Equipment LLC 38,598
Scientific Learning Corp 38,367
Blackboard Inc 38,200
Bufalino, Janet 38,001
L & L Music Wind Shop Inc 37,994
Library Video Company 37,893
Board of Education of Frederick County 37,603
Bremerman, Harrison G 37,600
Myco Companies 37,445
AGM Container Controls Inc 37,105
Penske Truck Leasing Co LP 36,925
Benchmark Education Co 36,919
Mondo Publishing Inc 36,906
Lashof Violins, LLC 36,619
Board of Education of Carroll County 36,605
JAP Tech Services 36,489
FWD Media Inc 36,278
Demco Inc 36,102
IBM Corporation 36,098
Jostens Inc 35,795
MA Cecil & Associates Inc 35,720
Theater Services Inc 35,700
General Automotive Servicenter Inc 35,674
Game Day Inc 35,610
Signs & Wonders Inc 35,520
Taylor Security & Lock Co Inc 35,443
West Recreation Inc 35,434
Riverside Publishing Co 35,291
G E Richards Graphics of Maryland 35,255
Talbot County Public Schools 35,039
Dynavox Systems LLC 34,966
Environmental Consultants And Contractors Inc 34,574
Maryland Interpreting Services Inc 34,473
Holbert Apple Associates Inc 34,169
Stoneware Inc 34,000
Willard Packaging Co 33,604
Curriculum Associates LLC 33,443
The Arrow Project 33,392
Sheffield Pottery Inc 33,204
Haggerty, John 32,903
Capstone Global Library LLC 32,825
Takoma Tree Experts Inc 32,288
RCI Sound System 32,264
Food Pro Corp 32,089
Premier Agendas Inc 32,071
A Daigger & Company Inc 32,004
Kerley Signs Inc 31,846
Safety Kleen Systems Inc 31,783
VWR International 31,615
Commissioners Of Poolesville 31,253
Okapi Educational Publishing Inc 30,706
Apex Learning Inc 30,650
Delgadillo, Katherine D 30,340
Wellness Solutions 30,032
Library Corporation 30,022
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 30,000
Rockville Color LLC 29,904
Oak Tree Enterprise Solutions 29,823
The Kingsbury Center Inc 29,796
WLR Automotive Group Inc 29,433
Renaissance Learning Inc 29,432
Sysco Food Services 28,669
Interaction Institute For Social Change 28,504
Teacher Created Materials Inc 28,437
Snap-On Industrial 27,950
The Continental Press Inc 27,922
Herff Jones Inc 27,801
Spanish Speaking Community 27,800
Pro Finishes Plus 27,752
Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers Inc 27,670
Country Pure Foods LLC 27,639
Retro Environmental Inc 27,610
City Of Gaithersburg 27,550
ECS Mid Atlantic LLC 27,400
Sports Stop Inc 27,351
Calfed Financial Corp 27,240
Child's World 26,956
Marlow Sports Inc 26,908
Michigan Dessert Corporation 26,483
Huron Consulting Co 26,393
Harrington Jr., Kevin M 26,310
Recorded Books 25,860
Atlantic Door Control 25,807
Edvotek Inc 25,750
Robert Half International Inc 25,609
Cambium Learning Inc 25,559
Parts Authority Southern LLC 25,515
Ecoflo Holding Inc 25,495
Enslow Publishers Inc 25,442
Specialized Education of MD, Inc 25,228
University Of Maryland Foundation 25,200
Levin Professional Services Inc 25,122
Permabound 25,122

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School Fees - A Preview

Yes, the Parents Coalition is planning to publish its annual listing of illegal school fees in Montgomery County Public Schools.

While you are waiting, here is a letter from Dr. Doran at Wootton High School. In his letter, he says he can no longer "mandate" that students purchase a planner for $4.00.

Note to Dr. Doran - you could never mandate such a fee. It's illegal in the state of Maryland, where our state constitution guarantees a free public education. Back to civics class for you - or in 2012 terms, please relearn the contents of US Government.

But it's nice to know that you finally acknowledge that certain fees are just not allowed. Aren't student planners a thing of the past, anyway? Environmentally unfriendly, and not in sync with students and their various electronic devices.

Welcome back to school Dr. Doran. We hope that your 10th year is as good as the previous nine.

MCPS Can Not Mandate School Fees - MD Constitution Provides for Free Education

MCPS American Express Bill Up $1.4 Million from 2010

Superintendent Jerry Weast
FY 2010 American Express $ 5,257,632
FY 2011 American Express $ 5,571,127

Superintendent Joshua Starr
FY 2012 American Express $ 6,634,939

In Superintendent Jerry Weast's first year in MCPS the Board of Education (BOE) approved a contract with American Express to supply MCPS staff and BOE members with their own personal American Express cards, billable to you the taxpayer.  

The list of 1,400 MCPS American Express card holders was made public for the first, and only, time in 2008 by an MCPS parent.  
The Parents' Coalition investigated some of the uses of these credit cards and discovered some disturbing trends in the accounting practices for these cards.  


The Board of Education does not monitor the use of these personal credit cards, and does not monitor the number of credit cards that are in circulation in MCPS.  It is unknown how many MCPS American Express credit cards are issued to individual MCPS staff and BOE members as of today.  What is known is that the total, annual American Express bill has been steadily increasing since 2010.  

Why has this bill increased?  What are these undocumented funds being spent on?