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The Fairfax County School Board has adopted the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) FY 2017 Approved Budget of $2.7 billion, which includes a salary increase of a step and one percent market scale adjustment for all eligible employees, $40 million to enhance teacher salaries and make them more competitive, and more than $10 million to lower elementary school class sizes. The FY 2017 Approved Budget takes effect July 1.
The FY 2017 budget includes an increase in the County transfer to the School Operating Fund of 4.8 percent above the FY 2016 Approved Budget as well as an increase of 3.8 percent, or $22.3 million, in state aid and sales tax, and $6.7 million in reductions from enrollment as compared to the FY 2016 Approved Budget. The FY 2017 budget recognizes compensation base savings of $19.1 million due to employee turnover and fuel savings of $2 million. Investments of $2.2 million to replace some of FCPS’ aging buses are included in the FY 2017 budget, as well as $13.8 million to cover health insurance increases and $14.7 million to cover retirement rate increases.
The Board identified additional reductions to balance the budget, including adjusting substitute pay rates by eliminating the differential substitute pay for retired teachers, funding the living wage for food service employees via the Food and Nutrition Services Fund, and implementing additional central department operating account reductions. Balancing the budget also required the use of one-time funds.
“We are sincerely appreciative of the efforts of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors,” says School Board Chair Pat Hynes. “Working together, we were able to secure the funding necessary to make critical investments in teacher pay, reduce the size of some classes in our elementary schools, and maintain our instructional programs and services to our students. We sincerely want to thank the members of the community who rallied to call for increased support for their students, teachers, and schools.
“This budget is the first one in nine years that does not include difficult cuts to the FCPS operating budget,” she adds. “It enables us to begin the process of rebuilding the school division.”
“I am hopeful that this budget represents a turning point for our schools,” says Superintendent Karen K. Garza. “This reinvestment in our community’s most important asset will provide great dividends for all the citizens of Fairfax. We are already looking ahead to FY 2018, and will continue to work as partners with the Board of Supervisors to solve these vital challenges for our community.”
May 27, 2016