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$1.75B Schools Budget Includes Funds for Expanded Pre-K, STEM

Funds for teacher compensation and career development are also included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.

Prince George's County schools CEO Kevin Maxwell.|Photo credit: Mike Theis
Prince George's County schools CEO Kevin Maxwell.|Photo credit: Mike Theis
High student achievement and more money for teachers are two of the top priorities in Prince George's County Public Schools proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

PGCPS CEO Kevin Maxwell unveiled his first budget proposal to the school board in a meeting late last week. The $1.75 billion budget represents a more than $65.5 million increase over the 2014 budget.

"As we move forward, my plan for next year's operating budget for Prince George's County Public Schools focuses on four key components: Funding Student Needs, Supporting Our Employees, Innovation and Fiscal Stability," wrote Maxwell in his budget brief. 

The budget aims to provide funds for secondary school reform, including the expansion of "rigorous coursework" as well as what would be a new, dual enrollment college credit program for qualified students. 

Expansions are proposed for creative and performing arts, French immersion, partial Chinese immersion programs, as well as additional seats in the Talented and Gifted and Montessori programs. 

Maxwell's budget also calls for funds to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs at two middle schools, and additional pre-kindergarten programs in eight schools. 

The budget also includes funds for employee compensation and career development along with a new teacher evaluation system. 

Engineering funds for renovations and expansions on two Bowie schools—Tulip Grove Elementary and the Bowie High School annex—were both given second priority in the Capital Budget. 

There will be several budget worksessions and public hearings in the new year prior to its presentation County Executive Rusher Baker in March. Baker will present his version of the budget to the Prince George's County Council, which will hold public hearings and worksessions prior to approval. 

Final council approval is expected by June 1, 2014.

Maxwell's full proposed budget can be found online here. 

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