The Montgomery County Council’s education committee approved a financial plan for the school system Thursday that would use surplus money from this year’s budget to pay for the Board of Education’s requested $10 million spending increase for fiscal 2014.
The committee also agreed to give the school system more money for building improvements, increasing the capital budget by about $4 million.
The recommended spending plan still needs final approval from the full County Council, which is expected to review the capital and operating education budgets in a work session May 13. The education committee recommended an operating budget of about $2.2 billion for fiscal 2014.
By using surplus funding, the County Council can still give the school system $10 million more for operating costs next year, but doesn’t commit the county to going above “maintenance of effort.” Under state law, Montgomery must spend at least the same amount it did per pupil compared to the year before. Any increases above maintenance-of-effort automatically increases the spending base for the following year.