Notes on the Jan. 23 Budget Hearing for FY 2019

by Laura Rammelsberg

The Prince George’s County Board of Education held its first public hearing on the fiscal year 2019 operating budget on January 23, at Laurel High School. A Board of Education budget work session (video here) immediately preceded the hearing.

Prince George’s County Public Schools Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget Public Hearing

Meeting called to order at 7:15 pm

Attendees:                                                                 

Segun C. Eubanks, Ed.D, Board Chair/Appointed Member

Carolyn Boston, BOE Vice Chair, District 6

David Murray, District 1

Lupi Quinteros-Grady, District 2
Dinora A. Hernandez, Esq. District 3 – not present
Patricia Eubanks, District 4
Raaheela Ahmed, District 5
K. Alexander Wallace, District 7  – not present

Sonya Williams, District 9

Edward Burroughs III, District 8

Mary Kingston Roche, Appointed Member  – not present

Dr. Donna Wiseman, Appointed Member – not present
Curtis Valentine, M.P.P., Appointed Member – not present
Amanya Paige, Student Member – not present

Chief Executive Officer Kevin M. Maxwell, Ph.D.

Review of Budget Process

At 1:22 in the video. Dr. Eubanks: Feb 22 Board Meeting is when they will adopt the budget. It will then be sent to County Executive Baker and presented to the county council in March of 2018. The county council must adopt budget and it will be sent to the state legislature in April 2018. The board of education will then reconcile with the county’s approved budget, and it will be accepted at a board meeting in June of 2018.

Powerpoint from Budget Work Session is in Boarddocs will be posted in a few days.

***Fewer than 25 people in attendance***

***Only ONE (1) PGCPS Parent made a public comment***

Public Comments: Three Registered Speakers

  • At 4:27. Teresa Dudley, President Prince Georges County Educator’s Association (PGCEA) – Here to address four issues:
  1. Peer Assistance and Review Program (helps new teachers in the first three years of their teaching career). This year, there has been very high turnover rate for new teachers – 15%.  30% of these are conditional teachers. Peer Assistant and Review Coaches are needed to teach basic pedagogy and bring them to speed of review process in county. The conditional teachers don’t have that training and need classes in the school system, so that they stay in the system.
  2. Community Schools & Restorative Practices.
  3. ESSA Re-Authorization. A Policy is coming before the Board that needs to be instituted for pilot program.  And need to make sure they are ready from upcoming ESSA specifics coming back from state and the federal government and money set aside for Committees to deal with that.
  4. Compensation and Working Conditions. Negotiated Agreement – Step increase and retirement incentives. They want to make sure that stays in the budget as well.
  • At 8:22. Representative of Saturday School Program, that works with 150+ PGCPS students at High Point High School since 2015. Modeled after program started in Montgomery County. Community Work Advance partnered with the school system in this effort. 30% improvement in ath proficiency. They request funding to renew program at High Point High School for 2 years and open a second site at Crossland High School. Each feeder system or host school requires an annual budget of $175,000.
  • At 11:25. Parent of Saturday School student testified to the benefits of the program for her daughter. Daughter was motivated and looks forward to every Saturday. Now an honors math student. Parents are proud of her, but give credit to Saturday School for her success. She encourages BOE to support the continuation of this program. The parents are engaged and kept well-informed by the Saturday School team.

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Speak up About Proposed Boundary Changes

In a news release dated Friday, February 19th, Prince George’s County Public Schools announced a public hearing about proposed school boundary changes and consolidations. The public hearing will be hosted by the Board of Education on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7 pm, in the Board room of the Sasscer Administration Building.

To register to speak at the meeting, sign up by calling 301-952-6300 before 4:30 p.m. the day of the hearing. Speakers will be limited to three minutes.

The CEO’s recommendations include consolidating Forestville High School into Suitland High School and consolidating Skyline Elementary School into William Beanes Elementary. It is also proposed that the 6th grade at certain K-6 elementary schools be reassigned to the feeder middle schools. The Board of Education will vote on the CEO’s proposed boundary changes at its February 25th meeting.

Keep reading to find more specifics about the boundary changes, consolidations, and grade  reorganizations that are on the table. Scroll to the end to find links to documents with more details about the proposed changes.

Recommended Changes:

New feeder pattern. Assign all Calverton Elementary School students to Martin L. King Jr. Middle School for grades 6-8. Currently, Calverton students feed into Buck Lodge Middle School, which is over capacity. Martin L. King Jr. has open seats.

Consolidations. Consolidate Forestville High School into Suitland High. Consolidate Skyline Elementary School into William Beanes Elementary. Assign 6th grades from both schools to Drew-Freeman Middle School.

Accokeek Area Boundary Changes. 

  • Change the boundaries of Accokeek Academy so that some neighborhoods are reassigned to Fort Washington Forest Elementary School and Gwynn Park Middle School.
  • Fort Washington Forest Elementary students will feed into Gwynn Park Middle and Gwynn Park High School.
  • Potomac Landing Elementary School will feed into Gwynn Park Middle and Gwynn Park High, instead of Accokeek Academy and Friendly High.

Grade adjustments. For the following elementary schools, the 6th grade will be reassigned to the feeder middle school:

Francis S. Key Elementary, Longfields Elementary, William Beanes Elementary, Ardmore Elementary, Kingsford Elementary, Cora L. Rice Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Rose Valley Elementary, Flintstone Elementary, Glassmanor Elementary, Oxon Hill Elementary, Valley View Elementary

Read more:

Find the January 21st presentation to the Board of Education on the proposed boundary changes here: School Boundaries Board Presentation 2016 (1)

Find the community discussions on school boundaries, consolidations, and modernizations presentation here: Community Discussions Presentation (12-14-15)