Dear Council Member,
Below is a Mother’s Day message from parents, MCPS employees and concerned stakeholders. We urge you to make fully funding the County Executive’s budget for Montgomery County Public Schools your top priority. Montgomery County mothers and the kids they love deserve nothing less!
Merle Cuttitta, President, SEIU Local 500
“As a teacher and a parent in Montgomery County Public Schools, I see first hand what happens when class sizes get bigger and and funding is cut. We lose support positions in our school that impact all of our students. Our county has “raised the bar” and expects our children to be the best of the best. In order for schools to ensure each student is the “best of the best” teachers, special educators, and support personnel that work directly with our students should not be eliminated!”
- Denise M. from 20876
“Mom always said I could be whatever I want to be. Please do your part to ensure a bright future for all Mo.Co. students. Education is the KEY!”
- Carol L. from 20783
“As an educator in the county for almost 15 years, I have seen the demands increase exponentially as our county increases in diversity and need. The number of special education children and the severity of needs has also increased. We are being asked to provide a “world class” education to all of our students and to meet higher and higher target goals. We strive to do this because we are dedicated professionals and we know that educating students now helps them to become independent, responsible citizens in the future.
However, this means putting more time and effort than ever into our teaching/educating. It also means that we, as educators, have to take more training and classes, spend more time in and out of the classroom developing and differentiating instruction, and giving students the remedial help during and after school hours. For our county council to then go back on a contract that was made in good faith, as well as to change agreements about retirement and health benefits is very discouraging and upsetting. We school system employees count on you to be our advocates, not to sacrifice us when a budget crunch looms.
Please remember that unless you have a world-class group of educators and employees, you cannot have a world-class school system.”
- ellen f. from 20814
“We understand that everyone is going to feel the impact of budget cuts, but please consider that fact that without proper funding, our students cannot get the education they deserve. As a teacher, I have not seen an increase in my paycheck for years, but my bills go up and up. If we can’t take care of ourselves, we will not be able to appropriately educate our students, let alone consider raising our own families.”
- JoAnna R. from 20814
“I got a great education in MCPS. Others deserve the same! Our county’s economic futre depends on an educated workforce and intellectual capital. Don’t be short-sighted!”
- Andrew T. from 20817
“Education of our youngsters is so important. I hope you will not cut funding to education. Our teachers do a wonderful job in MCPS and they get results!”
- Lynn N. from 20832
“Our educational system is one of the best in the country. This increases our property values and as a tax payer this is very important to me. Please fund the schools!!!”
- Michael N. from 20832
“Literacy forms the basis for success in academics and all other areas of life. We need students who are
prepared for the 21st century and the workplace.
Continue to fund education at all levels.”
- Elisa W. from 20833
“My Mom was an educator for MCPS and would be so proud of me but I am hurting with the lack of support for the elected leaders.”
- Gail Z. from 20842
“Children spend a large percentage of their hours in school. They should get every penny to make it the best that it can be!”
- Ann S. from 20850
“FUND MONTGOMERY COUNTY SCHOOLS!!! NO MORE CUTS!”
- Valerie E. from 20850
“I urge you to fund education and do your part to ensure a bright future for all our children. Moms and kids deserve nothing less.
- Carol M. from 20850
“If you truly value our children and their futures, if you value the future of our country, you will fully fund public education.”
- Judy Di Salvo S. from 20850
“Please consider what impacts your votes will have on the children of Montgomery County and their success in Montgomery County Public Schools.
What would your mom say?”
- Phyllis R. from 20850
“What kind of future are you hoping for your children and grandchildren?
Do the right thing.”
- Sean S. from 20850
“Your vote carries tremendous consequences for the educational program and morale in our schools. Will Montgomery County soon be recruiting teachers from overseas as well?”
- Carolyn G. from 20850
“Our students need our support and that means providing funds for education and every area that entails. Our students have many different needs so we need to have resources to address the many needs we see everyday in our Montgomery County schools. Thank you for your support and all that you do for our students and their education/future.”
- Grace F. from 20851
“The cuts to MCPS are getting dangerously close to the edge – to the point of doing serious, long term damage to education in this county.”
- Ermon V. from 20851
“The school system budget is the last thing you should cut. This is a make or break, get my vote or not get my vote, get my support or not get my support action, on your part.”
- John C. from 20851
“I have been a teacher for 15 years, the last 10 in MCPS. Up to this point, I’ve proudly boasted to friends and family across the country how our elected leaders here in Montgomery County treasure and fully support the public schools.
What has happened Montgomery County Council? Since when have MCPS employees become the villain? When I hear Council President Ervin talk about curtailing MY collective bargaining rights I wonder when I suddenly moved to Wisconsin!
Council President Ervin, do you HONESTLY believe that cutting teacher’s benefits will have no impact on classroom instruction? Don’t you realize that we’re being hit with a 2% increase in our state pension contribution? You want to combine that with a huge hike in the amount teachers pay for their health care, never mind the fact that this will be our 3rd consecutive year without a COLA and the 2nd consecutive year without a step increase. All this and classroom instruction won’t be impacted? Come on Council President Ervin, you’re a smart woman. You KNOW that many teachers will be forced to work second jobs and those already working such jobs will have to increase their hours. More teachers working second jobs equals fewer teachers with time to commit to students outside the contracted hours.
Council President Ervin, I request that you stop doing what looks good for your political career i.e. jumping on the “blame public school teachers for the economic troubles” bandwagon and do what’s right. Preserve MCPS employee benefits. Don’t claim there will be no effect on classroom instruction if MCPS employee benefits are cut. You and I both know there WILL be an effect, one that hurts the children of Montgomery County.
Council President Ervin, I have voted for you in the past both for Board of Ed and for County Council. Rest assured, unless you change your tune going forward, I will NEVER support you again and will encourage all I know both in my private and professional life to do the same. It’s time for you to step up, stop playing political games, and start thinking about the children of Montgomery County!”
- Adam F. from 20852
“You need to rethink your budget decisions. Cutting the school budget will hurt our children. If you need an incentive to restore the budget, remember that I am a voter.”
- Carol H. from 20852
“I am a paraeducator. I work with special ed children in second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. My students are gifted with learning disabilities. If they did not have the support from me, they would not be able to succeed in a regular classroom. Please do not cut the programs that are so vital for our children to soar.”
- Anne C. from 20853
“I urge you to not cut the funding for Montgomery County Schools. As an employee of the county, and a single mother of 4 county students, I am in great need of a raise. It’s been 3 years since I haven’t gotten a raise and everything else has gone up. I don’t think that I will get by next year with this income and I am only a 10 month employee. I’m speaking for all employees who have quietly been getting by with the current pay. Any way you can help with this is deeply appreciated.”
- Flor L. from 20853
“No more cuts!”
- Suzanne F. from 20853
“Please do not vote to cut any more of the budget on the backs of our students! Instead, support our schools – financially and through your votes on the County Council. Your constituents are watching closely.”
- Ann M. from 20853
“The National Association of Realtors says that to 75% of home shoppers, the quality and availability of schools in the neighborhood is either “somewhat important” or “very important.”
7 Neighbors That Can Hurt Your Home
by Brian O’Connell
Saturday, May 7, 2011
- Patricia W. from 20853
“Well, here I am grading and planning on my weekend, as usual; checked my email and normally would’ve just deleted this but figured you should know that I regularly work nights and weekends for our students. I am an excellent educator but am nearing my limit, at which point I’ll leave this field that I love after just 10 years as a special educator.”
- michelle m. from 20853
“With the need to emphasize and revitalize education in this country, why in the world would you want to cut education?”
- Harry R. from 20853
“You have a tough job to do but who are you fooling that the cuts won’t impact our children. The reductions in recent years already have and I don’t think you see that. What it appears you will do this year is cement in place a reverse of the achievement gains. From what I’m reading I think this years council actions will have a legacy of being the turning point to decline of our schools.”
- Don J. from 20866
“It takes a village to raise our kids. In this case it takes a council – please fund our schools for our children’s sake.”
- Elaine J. from 20872
“My oldest son graduated in 2010. He recieved an excellent education at Damascus High Shool. I want the same quality of education for my others sons that are attending Damascus High School. My fear is that with the budget cuts their teachers will not be able to provide them with the same high quality education that my older son received.”
- Barbara M. from 20872
“Our children deserve the best education. They are the future.”
- Randy K. from 20872
“Students need you to not cut education funding!”
- shannon d. from 20872
“Without quality programs in our schools the entire quality of life will decline in Montgomery County. Please fully fund MCPS!”
- Bill E. from 20872
“Education is the bedrock of our economy. It creates a quality & engaged citizenry. It is an important factor in assessing property values. And it prepares our next generation to lead.
My daughter is graduating from Northwest High School this year. I have a newborn son who will attend Montgomery County Public Schools. I am concerned that he will not receive the same quality education that my daughter did.
Maintenance of effort is a big reason why there was a rapid rise in student achievement in our county, not to mention a culture of collaboration between all stakeholders, including teachers, support staff, parents, MCPS leadership, & elected officials.
Paying a $29 million fine and gutting maintenance of effort may gain you platitudes with the editorial boards of local newspapers, but it hurts our children. It hurts our economy, & it hurts our property values.
As a taxpayer, I have no interest in a race to the bottom. I want a top quality school system, and I expect you to do right by our children. Get a waiver so our county is not fined $29 milllion for failing to meet maintenance of effort. Increased enrollment and less funding is a recipe for failure. Your actions will decide the future of education in this county. I’d hate to think that our best years for our students are behind us.”
- Edward F. from 20874
“NO MORE CUTS!!!”
- Melinda H. from 20874
“Shame on you for balancing the budget on the backs of teachers! Who will pay for YOUR generous pensions and health benefits if you don’t educate the future of Maryland?”
- Jennifer B. from 20874
“Shame on you! Montgomery County teachers are the best and the brightest across the nation. Look at the data! Teachers in this county have masters degrees… yes plural! Many have more than one. Many teachers have a PhD. Teachers who work here stay here. Look at the data. What is the average length of time a teacher has been working in MCPS? It’s not a mystery why MCPS is #1 in the nation. We have the best people in the classrooms! Shame on you for wanting anything less. Of course classroom instruction will be impacted with less funding! How foolish to think otherwise. State monies should go to education and nothing else. Shame on you for wanting to hurt children.”
- JACKIE H. from 20877
“As an IDA, I am not sure you know what our job entails. I have had my hours cut this year and I am trying to figure out all I do with less hours.
Please reconsider giving back our hours.
- Robin B. from 20878
“I can’t believe that the council believes that cutting teacher’s incomes will not effect students’ education. Do you really believe teachers will be able to keep up with the extensive planning they do outside the classroom when they are busy holding down second and third jobs in order to keep their family’s heads above water? I am already shocked at the impact “cost saving measures” have had in the special education services of the preschoolers I serve! Classroom sizes for our most needy children have exploded in some locations due to the refusal of transportation to bus our children to a less crowded location (the previous standard of practice when classroom became crowded).
I understand that economic times are hard. But pulling the rug out from under education is NOT the way to insure our future as a county!”
- Tamar T. from 20878
“If you value students and education, please put your money where your mouth is.
And if you think it is OK to raise class size, I invite any and all of you to teach for a week – or even two days, being sure to keep up with grading papers and projects between day 1 and day 2. Come to a middle school or high school, where you will have over 150 tests, quizzes, papers, etc. to grade. Walk a mile in our shoes, and see how much attention YOU can give to each students when 32 of them are raising their hands for help, or calling out your name.
- Marilyn S. from 20878
“Let’s look into what corporations in MC are not paying their fair share of taxes instead of taking from education.”
- Janice R. from 20878
“Playing politics with our children’s future is wrong! This attempt to force MCPS to make changes in our health benefit contributions because it is different than other Montgomery County employees is political posturing to make a statement of power and control. Instead of working together rationally and collaboratively to do what is best for our citizens and our employees, the County Council is holding a “power grudge” against MCPS. I urge you to look at the true facts and data, and not be swayed by politics.
And please remember to thank your mother for all the love she gave you so you could develop into the person you are today.”
- Sally M. from 20878
“Please do your part to support our children. They need all of us.”
- Cindy K. from 20878
“What would your children say?”
- Lee B. from 20878
“For many children without adequate parenting at home teachers are the closest to a mom they have. With the cuts being made, the extra time and effort teachers put in for our children will have to be redirected. Can we really afford what that will do for our community?”
- Sharon G. from 20879
To provide a high-quality, world-class education that ensures success for every student through excellence in teaching and learning.
Is your plan for the budget in line with the support schools need to effectively and successfully integrate the core values that make our county mission possible?
Less funding does not equal better schools.”
- John N. from 20879
“Please do not cut the education funds!!!”
- Marti G. from 20879
“PLEASE find a way to fund our schools!”
- Beth B. from 20879
“Teachers have given their all to make MCPS one of the most high performing and respected school systems in the US. In order to do that, we need and our students need to have the budget fully funded.”
- Mary B. from 20879
“My job is being cut by $10,000 next year and I support kids who need to be challenged in math. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing to create the best learners in our society?”
- Gretchen A. from 20882
“Please make your mom proud and do the right thing for MCPS students.”
- Ruth d. from 20882
“Do what’s right. Our future is not bright without these kids. Teach them responsibility. Show them we care…if you don’t, don’t expect them to know how to care for you in the future.”
- Meghan M. from 20886
“MCPS has an outstanding reputation and achieved national recognition. My children are a product of MCPS and have moved on to college and a good future thanks to your efforts. Let’s continue the commitment to all the children in Montgomery County.”
- Deborah A. from 20886
“We have to do all that we can do so that our kids can do better. Our kids have needs, real needs. We need to be able to help them. Please help us!
I’m working very hard and using all that is accessible, please don’t take that away from us!”
- Mary Eu M. from 20886
“Please stop cutting education to pay for other things that don’t matter as much. The school system has shouldered more than it’s fair share of the burden already.”
- Christine S. from 20895
“My son hopes to move back to Montgomery County to raise his children so they can enjoy the education he received. Please continue to fund our schools at an excellent level.”
- Cathy J. from 20901
“Please do the right thing by all the moms and children of Montgomery County. Don’t throw away the greatness county residents have built and invested in for so many years — our public school system. Without it, our property values or county’s future success and most of all it’s children will suffer.”
- Anna O. from 20901
“Please STOP cutting school money, our future children need the best education that they can get!!”
- regla w. from 20901
“As Montgomery County mothers, we shouldn’t just care about the children of mothers who contribute to political campaigns and belong to high tax brackets. Think of ALL children and ALL the teachers who teach them!”
- Melissa P. from 20902
“I know you are faced with a very difficult situation, but our children literally are our future. Training, educating, developing the next generation; This has to be our first priority.”
- Stephen M. from 20902
“Our schools are our pride and joy. They shouldn’t play second fiddle in budget games. Enough with the political games!”
- Scot R. from 20902
“We did not become one of the premier counties in education nationwide despite the MCPS employee. We have that status because of them. Please keep that in mind as priorities are set in this difficult time.”
- Claire D. from 20902
“On a personal note, my husband and I – both MCPS teachers – are moving to Howard County so that our son and daughter can benefit from a system that puts children first. Furthermore, both are currently in private school because I refuse to place them in a system that categorizes children by the schools they attend (RED and GREEN zones).”
- Laura G. from 20904
“Please do the best you can to meet the requests for the education budget. We are an outstanding school system partly because of the funds we have to spend on excitng materials, texts, and good teachers.”
- Faye J. from 20904
“The US has been a powerful country first because we were wealthy and then because we had the strongest military. The next power will be the smartest. You are sacrificing the future of our country. Fund education to the max!”
- Lynn M. from 20904
“Please take the big-picture approach and keep our schools’ quality.”
- Chris D. from 20905
“Consider our future when deciding the fate of our schools!”
- Maggie C. from 20906
“Families and teachers and the future of our county need funding now.”
- M. A. B. from 20906
“The future of this county is in your hands right now. Our children deserve the best that we can provide. Please fully fund the mcps budget and give our children the best opportunity for success. Thank you!!”
- Jim P. from 20906
“Education is the key in providing opportunity to children. By funding education you are investing in our future.”
- Emily T. from 20910
“Do the right thing to make every Mom proud!”
- Meg C. from 20912
“I am a parent of a MC 4th grader in a terrific school. We are constantly in danger of losing those things that make our school so special — science lab, instrumental music.. please help us continue to develop well-rounded, smart, creative kids. Thanks.”
- Patti M. from 20912
“Please heed this message!”
- karen m. from 20912
“So many of the wonderful programs in MCPS have already be cut or whittled away to the bare bones. Further cuts would be devastating at this point. Please do all that you can to preserve school funding.”
- Ellen D. from 20912
“Money needs to stay w education!”
- Joanie R. from 21043
“Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter,”
- Carmen S. from 21043
“Please think about out school system, it’s greatness and what lack of funding might do to it. We’ve come a long way, let’s not ruin something good.”
- Maria P. from 21045
“Please help our children get quality education that will give them competitive advantage in this global village.
- Oluwasegun O. from 21207
“Being in the classroom every day, I see the value in the funding you provide. In addition to this money, we spend valuable money out of our own pockets to support our students…not because we have to but because we want the best for each and every one of our students. In school with a high population of students from low socioeconomic situations, I can can vouch for the need for each and every penny. These students may not get everything they need at home but school should be a place where we level the playing field and give every child the opportunities to succeed. Thank you so much for your consideration.”
- Liz W. from 21701
“I give up after 31.6 years you can find a new teacher to bully and threaten. I am tired of putting my personal life on whole bcause i have too much work to do that I am not given the time to complete at work. I am not talking about 60 min, 120 min more like 240 plus a day to get things done! After 9 hours a day on sight there is at least 2 to 3 housr at home a night. Good Luck finding someone who wants no life. Let me teach!!!! Not teach the testing!!!!”
- Laurel G. from 21701
“To the Members of the Montgomery County Council:
Once again, I am asking that you consider the positive impact that an excellent education for all of our students has on the entire county. Allow me to remind you of some facts.
Fact #1. Our outstanding school system has had a postive economic impact on the county by luring new business. This is an area where people want to move, and have their children attend our schools.
Fact #2. It has been proven that MCPS has managed it’s employee health benefit program much better than the county. As a result, MCPS has been able to get more bang for their buck. Please don’t threaten to punish the school system for holding down costs.
Last week was teacher appreciation week, and I received many notes of thanks from students and parents indicating the significant impact that my work had on their lives. However, I am not feeling so appreciated by the leaders of this county especially when I hear about quiet deals to provide a pay increase for police officers, and read in the paper about the abuse of overtime pay by county employees. I think to myself, wow, it must be nice to get paid for all of your overtime.
I work very hard for this county, and I go above and beyond to help students be successful. I have not had a salary increase in three years. The work I have done and continue to do deserves a fair and competitive wage, and I should not have to beg. I am asking that you fund the BOE in such a way that allows them to reward highly qualified employees with competive wages and benefits. We should not have to go backwards. Thank you for your consideration in these matters and for the work that you do serving Montgomery County.”
- Jeff J. from 21793
“Maybe it would be better for MCPS to look at the waste in the schools.”
- Joyce P.
“Please continue to invest in the future of this great county. That future lies in the children in our schools today and tomorrow. They need your support through your support of their schools and their teachers.”
- Stephen S.
- Shirley D. from 20904
- Maggie T. from 20878
- Tony T. from 20878
- clemencia L. from 20906
- Antonia L. from 20910
- Elizabeth V. from 20905
- Harry K. from 20877
- Jesse W. from 20814
- Jessica C. from 20877
- Tara S. from 20706
- Julie D. from 20886
- Jennifer P. from 20879
- Kath C. from 20872
- Danielle H. from 20877
- Martha D. from 20906
- stephanie r. from 20902
- Lynda H. from 20833
- Lori R. from 20878
- Jay S. from 20853
- Karen M. from 20895
- Elissa R. from 20878
- Patrick O. from 20723
- Brenda A. from 20895
- Lisa F. from 20740
- Barbara L. from 20910
- Joan Z.
- Philippe S.
- Brian D. from 20871
- Robert C. from 20877
- James L. from 20817
- Matthew T. from 20886
- natalia b. from 20877
- Tanya M. from 20904
- Annette P. from 20832
- Linda S. from 20910
- Jennifer P. from 20886
- Shira S. from 20817