Community Q&A
HAVE A QUESTION? Send an email to:  parentinfo@mps.k12.al.us

Questions will be added as they are received and answered. Please see the questions below to see if yours has been answered. Similar questions may be combined and some may be reworded for clarity.

Why do we have such a high student to teacher ratio? 
We do our best to keep the number of students as low as possible in each classroom. The number of teachers we have depends on both state and local funding. State funding is based on our enrollment average on the first 20 days after labor day. Local funding is based on the willingness of citizens to support schools with taxes.  

Do we have any anti-bullying programs? 
Yes. Check with your school's principal or counselor for specifics. 

Are there any programs for pregnant students? 
Yes. Students who need those services should talk with their school counselor. We work with our social workers and local agencies to help pregnant students stay in school and get the medical services they need. 

How much do we have in Title I funds? 
Title I Funds are federal dollars that are given to schools with a large population of students who live below the poverty line. The amount varies from year to year. Our current Title I budget is about $15 million.

How do you intend to address the issue of increasing the mill rate within a society that views any increase as a non-starter?
All we can do is to tell the public how we spend our funds, what we would specifically do with an increase, and trust they will see the wisdom in an increase. We can't (by law) tell people how to vote, we can only provide them with information. 

Would a loss of Accreditation affect the magnet schools? 
First, we are not going to lose our accreditation. The magnet schools are a part of MPS. Whatever impacts the system, impacts the entire system. 

When will the property tax increase be presented for a vote? 
We aren't sure.As soon as it is set it will be widely advertised. 

When will the SPUR contract be terminated, are you aware of the issues we have had with it and can HR do the job for less money? 
The SPUR company is a third party that handles staffing for substitutes for MPS. The contract can be terminated with a short notice. We are aware of issues and are working with the company to resolve them. At this time, we do not have the staff in HR to do the work. 

Who can push to get the vote to raise the tax support for MPS? 
There are two ways to get an increase taxes to support schools; the county commission can add an item to the ballot to increase property taxes by six mills - anything higher has to be done by the state legislature. The chairman of the county commission recently expressed a desire to help make that happen. 

What are the plans to assist our teachers with disciplinary problems?
Professional development in classroom management is available. Any teacher who feels he or she needs assistance should talk with the principal of the school with specifics of his or her situation. 

Can the disciplinary response in magnet schools be implemented in traditional schools? 
No. Since magnet schools are optional for students, they can be removed if they do not meet disciplinary requirements. Traditional schools are part of the "free public education" that is offered by the state. We can't remove a student from traditional schools using the same standards.

What preparations are being done to ensure that every child (traditional or magnet) will have an opportunity to a quality education?
We work hard with all our teachers to provide them with what they need to give students the best possible education. We don't have all the resources we need to provide some of the needed technology and other items we would like to have. The difference between traditional and magnet schools are in the entrance requirements. Magnet students must meet minimum standards to get into schools. Traditional schools have no requirements beyond living in the district and meeting age limits. 

What programs work verses those who do not work? Can changes be made? 
We evaluate our programs every year. Those that are required by the state cannot be changed without their authorization. The ones implemented by MPS that don't work are discontinued. 

What plans do you have to aggressively seek and attract highly qualified educators? 
Our teachers meet the state's Highly Qualified standards. They can't be hired unless they do. There are fewer graduates of teacher programs and there is a shortage around the state and the nation. Graduates with math and science degrees in particular can get much higher paying jobs outside of education. 

Summarize and explain the different objectives and parameters of the intervention - and what that has to do with the progress of MPS. 

Here is the short answer. The state intervened in MPS because of three main issues - financial, academic performance and safety/transportation. The transportation issue was cleared up quickly. The main financial issue is the state requirement that we have one month's operating expenses in reserve. That is about $19 million. We don't currently have that much in reserve. The state is working with MPS on strategies to reach that goal. The state is also providing resources (human) to help teachers find better ways to help children learn so student performance will improve. When MPS reaches what the state deems as adequate academic improvement and when our financial situation stabilizes with the required reserve, intervention will end.   

How can teachers get repairs in their classrooms?
Teachers should report issues to their principal. Principals fill out a work order and the issue is addressed depending on available funding and the impact on safety and comfort. 

Why is there a shortage of substitute teachers?
The job doesn't pay much and is only part-time. When the economy is good and there are lots of jobs, people often choose full-time work. 

​How do I make a complaint against an employee? 
​Contact Human Resources @ 334-223-6700. 

​Why is MPS having funding issues?
​Montgomery has the least amount of local funding of any large school system in Alabama. Additional funding is needed to help solve many of our issues. It will take a vote of the people to increase the support to our schools. 

(Note to those submitting questions during the PTA Town Hall: we are working to answer all of the questions. They will be posted here as soon as possible. There were a large number of questions, it will take a few days to answer them all)