The Montgomery County Student was founded this school year by Student Member of the Board (SMOB) John Mannes and Student Advisory Council (SAC) Press Secretary Jessica Li. Our staff consists of seven writers. We are the first county-wide, student-run newspaper in Montgomery County.
Our mission, as a group of student writers & advocates, is to improving communication between decisions makers of MCPS and students.
That is precisely why the MoCo Student sponsored a high school press conference with the SMOB. Students from seven high schools attended this event on February 27th.
Though representatives did not hail from all of the 25 MCPS high schools, students in attendance got an inside look into the Board of Education (BOE) through current SMOB John Mannes.
The first question addressed: “What do you think is the biggest issue in MCPS?”
Mannes’ response: Maintenance of Effort (MOE). MOE is a state mandated minimum funding threshold. Approximately 50% of the County Council’s budget goes to fund public education. However, we cannot expect to be funded at this level every year. What if the stock market crashes?
This year, the superintendent has requested a $70 increase in funding per student, but the BOE is not very confident that we will receive this much from the county.
Other issues such as student budget work groups, funding for additional programs, school start times, SMOB voting rights, the Shady Grove Bus Depot, technology integration, and school lunches were brought to table.
Our team also encouraged the writers in attendance to submit articles to the mocostudent.org site, as well as syndicate some articles produced by our staff.
Our team hopes to host more conferences in the future, as this type of event will spread MCPS news speedily and broadly to readers of diverse backgrounds.
Here’s to communication and advocacy!
Article by Christina McCann, SAC press correspondent