The Montgomery County Council will hold a special meeting on November 30 to consider using a portion of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to hire school teachers and counselors.
At the November 30 meeting, the County Council will introduce a Special Appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget, as requested by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The appropriation amount of $252,242,245 would be for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund.
A county press release on the November 30 meeting explains the request and use of federal funds:
Under ESSER III, the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to address the impact that the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
The requested grant funds will support a total of 271 additional positions. The positions to be added include: 113 teachers; 32 paraeducators; 50 social workers; 40 counselors; and a range of other positions. Additional information on the positions and other elements of the requested grant funds can be found in the Board of Education’s November 9, 2021, approval memorandum (attached and at the following link.)
Specifically, the funds would be used for a variety of funds, including:
- Positioned salaries
- Non-position salaries
- Associated employee benefits
- Contractual services
- Special education compensatory services
- Instructional materials and technology support and resources
Montgomery County’s consideration comes as school districts around the state and country continue to face school staffing shortages and challenges.