Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith has declined a $25,000 raise he was to get soon as part of his new employment contract, as county officials face a budget crunch due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
In February, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously to renew Smith’s contract for an additional four years. With the approval came a salary increase to $315,000, effective July 1.
Smith recently, however, offered to forego the raise and keep his salary at $290,000, which was approved by the school board.
In an email to Bethesda Beat, MCPS spokesman Derek Turner wrote that Smith decided to reject the raise because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the Montgomery County Council approved its budget for fiscal year 2021, including $2.8 billion for MCPS.
Before the pandemic began, the school district proposed a budget about $43 million higher than what the council approved.
But as the county faces a revenue shortfall projected to reach $600 million, government leaders opted to fund the school district’s budget at “maintenance of effort.”
Maintenance of effort legally requires governments to provide per-pupil funding that is at least as much as what was provided in the prior fiscal year.
Smith was hired in 2016 and his first four-year contract will end on June 30. With the school board’s February vote, Smith can remain on as superintendent through June 30, 2024.
Prior to MCPS, Smith served as interim state superintendent and the State Department of Education’s chief academic officer. He spent eight years as superintendent of Calvert County Schools and six years teaching in Japan.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at email@example.com