Superintendent Joshua Starr appears to be continuing the Jerry Weast scheme of attempting to manipulate media coverage by only meeting with certain members of the press.
...Meeting with The Gazette editors Thursday, Starr said he chose next year to add five instrumental music teachers rather than adding to student support teams, such as counselors or pupil personnel workers.
Starr said there is a great demand for instrumental music, and there needs to be a strong pipeline for the programming from elementary to high school, or else it will take years to recoup.
“We can maintain where we are with the [pupil personnel workers] complement of folks we have, where if we let the instrumental musical program die off, it takes so many years of recovery that I just don’t think it is worth that. It is an efficiency decision on one hand.”
Meanwhile, the counselor-to-student ratio at middle schools continues to grow.
Starr proposes to add one counselor for next school year for a projected enrollment growth of 2,336 students...
...Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said it is important for people to know the school system could have chosen to restore school-based staff this school year, but decided against it.Andrews said it all goes back to the school system’s decision this summer to give eligible school system employees two step increases in their pay, which the council criticized.http://www.gazette.net/article/20130108/NEWS/130109912/1124/montgomery-restores-music-teachers-over-other-positions&template=gazette
About 150 positions could have been restored this year if the school system would have devoted just one-sixth of the $47 million that was spent on salaries, Andrews said...