Recap: Infrastructure and Land Use Member Exchange Meeting - MCPS Enrollment Trends and School Planning

Posted Date: 
March 10, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Recap

Guest Speakers: Bruce Crispell, Division of Long-Range Planning, and Pamela Dunn, Montgomery Planning Director's Office         

Topic: MCPS Enrollment Trends and School Planning                      

Vice-Chair of the Infrastructure and Land Use Committee, Gus Bauman, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speakers Bruce Crispell and Pamela Dunn to discuss enrollment trends and school planning at MCPS.

Ms. Dunn began the presentation with an overview of the planning process and discussed how master plans are the mechanism to be proactive about what is envisioned for the community.  There have been changes to how school capacity is calculated, specifically a move to program capacity that is reflection of how school buildings are used. When the switch was implemented, schools immediately measured over capacity.

There was a great deal of discussion about the impact taxes and facility payments that are borne by the development community. An impact tax is money that is put into the pot for MCPS school construction. A facility payment is money that goes to a particular cluster where that payment is collected. 

There is a movement to use more granular data in the forecasting of growth and impact in various parts of the county.

Mr. Crispell spoke to the recent experience of MCPS where there has been an increase in enrollment of approximately 2,100 students every year for the last 20 years. The model of a peak and through no longer exists and MCPS predicts that enrollment trends will continue to rise.  Much of the increase in enrollment comes from existing housing stock (11,000 re-sales vs. 3,800 new housing units last year).

MCPS is aware of where the deficits exist but is constrained by limited resources to address necessary new buildings as well as revitalization and expansion of existing facilities.

The attendees raised questions as varied as a discussion of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance tests to changing habits and life styles of residents.

As strategic investment in capital projects such as school construction continues to be a major part of the MCCC Legislative Agenda, the presentation helped explain the process and projections of managing enrollment and the needed infrastructure to support it.  Copies of the power point presentation are available upon request.

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