MCEA Expresses Disappointment in Response to Marc Elrich’s Recommended FY25 Operating Budget

Earlier today, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich released his recommended Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Operating Budget of $7.1 billion, an increase of 4.9 percent from the FY24. The Montgomery County teacher’s union, Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), has issued a statement in response to the budget, expressing disappointment.

Elrich, who is a former teacher, recommended a budget funds 98.2% of MCPS’ request at $3.3 billion, noting that it would be the third largest funding increase of $106.8 million over last year’s approved budget. MCEA stated that the Board of Education’s request was already insufficient. The full statement can be seen below:

“We are disappointed that County Executive Elrich, a former teacher who as an elected leader has previously been a champion of public education, has proposed a budget for MCPS that does not honor the Board of Education’s already insufficient request.

Chief Administrative Officer Rich Madaleno noted that in real dollars the per pupil funding in his budget proposal still falls below the county’s expenditures per pupil in 2009. It is deeply concerning that the county’s commitment to public education has fallen as the percentage of students of color has grown to be the majority in our schools, and as there has been an increasing need for English language, special education, and mental health services.

Decision-makers continue to under-resource educators and force educators to do more with less. They then criticize us when students struggle to make academic gains because we cannot provide enough support.

We need a reinvestment in public education, not punishing austerity. Educators’ morale here is already low, staff are looking for the exits, and no one is standing in line to replace those who leave. Educator recruitment and retention issues will not be resolved if elected officials lack the courage to champion public education and treat us as respected professionals. Our students’ success is threatened when leaders charged with funding our schools abandon their responsibility to provide the resources needed for an excellent educational experience.

MCEA President Jennifer Martin stated, “We look now to the County Council to remedy this situation by ensuring MCPS has the vital funding it needs to function and flourish. It’s clear that they are distrustful of MCPS leadership, but the proposed cuts would punish students and front-line staff.  At a time when we are seeking a new superintendent to right the ship and improve student learning outcomes, we need a budget that will support their efforts, not hamper them.”

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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