Despite lower spending than districts across the state, FCPS has continued to do more with less. FCPS maintains high academic standards, graduation rates well above state average at nearly 95%, and consistently high SAT scores. Despite these impressive statistics, significant achievement gaps persist for African American/Black students (graduation rate of 87%) and Latino students (77%). Students with disabilities (graduation rate 74% – below target) and Students who are English Language Learners demonstrate a 36% graduation rate (also below target). As a district, we must continue to push for resource allocation to meet the demands of student populations who historically have been underrepresented and under-served – starting with our youngest students.
- Push Frederick County government entities to greatly expand pre-Kindergarten education to focus on 3- and 4-year olds from the subgroups demonstrating struggles to graduate, with a particular focus on families and students living in poverty.
In addition to the achievement gaps in graduation and academic outcomes for students of color, students in Frederick County are facing a myriad of risk factors that have an impact on their educational success in K-12 and beyond. Since Maryland’s school funding formula was last updated, the percentage of students residing in poverty has doubled. Mental health, substance use, histories of trauma, and food insecurity are affecting students in FCPS on a regular basis. While FCPS does not have the funding capacity to meet all of these needs internally, continued expansion of community partnerships and outreach, increased mental health support in schools, and directing critical funding resources to areas of the county with higher percentages of students experiencing poverty will have positive impacts.
- Support the expansion of the community-based model employed by social workers, PPWs and CASS to decrease caseloads and create more effective outcomes for students while building community partnerships and internal capacity to direct resources to meet the needs of students experiencing multiple risk factors.
By authority of Friends of Rae Gallagher, Collin Brown, Treasurer