Now, typically, programs cost money. Yet, this program was announced without a speck of information about funding. Councilmember Valerie Ervin was at the press conference and when asked, even she didn't know how this program would be funded.
So we asked.
We asked for the document that Superintendent Joshua Starr was shown signing in the press photos and video.
We got the document that Superintendent Starr signed and found some surprising information.
- First, the plan to set up the ACES program was actually hatched back in March of 2012 at an apparently secret meeting between MCPS, Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove. Open Meetings Act violation?
- Second, when Superintendent Joshua Starr signed his name to this document he was actually committing MCPS to a $330,000 expenditure! MCPS contracts over $25,000 are to be approved by the Board of Education under Maryland law. When did the Board of Education vote to spend $330,000 on this program? We didn't find a Board vote on this expenditure. Let us know the date if you can find this in Board of Education minutes.
- Third, don't miss that this "new" high school to college program is being started at the exact same time that the Gateway to College program has been discontinued.