Interim Superintendent Lockard Presents FCPS FY 2018 Budget
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Interim Superintendent Steve Lockard presented, to the Fairfax County School Board, the $2.8 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Proposed Budget for the School Operating Fund. This is an increase of $130.4 million, or 4.9 percent, over the FY 2017 Approved Budget. The FY 2018 Proposed Budget focuses on two key priorities from the FCPS Strategic Plan Ignite: employee compensation and classroom resources. This budget proposal supports more than 188,000 students, nearly 200 schools and centers, and staffing of approximately 28,000 employees – 9 out of 10 of whom are based in schools.
This proposal includes $44.0 million for an average step increase of 2.5 percent for all eligible employees, including teachers and non-teachers. This proposal also includes an ongoing investment of $33.2 million as part of a multi-year plan to move FCPS teachers closer to the regional market average for teacher pay. The FY 2018 budget also includes $41.2 million for anticipated increases in health insurance and contributions to the retirement systems.
“This proposed budget reflects funding only what we believe to be necessary to sustain the excellence we expect in Fairfax County,” said Lockard. “Our number one priority is ensuring success for every student. We achieve this by having great people – teachers, administrators, support employees —all of whom contribute to the positive environment that makes it possible for every student to grow and thrive. Providing fair compensation especially for our teachers – who are at the heart of our mission – is my priority in this budget.”
The FY 2018 budget includes an additional $10.0 million to cover the cost of enrollment and demographic changes including a projected additional 1,932 students.
Lockard explained that the budget relies on the Fairfax County general fund transfer to provide 72.2 percent of the total revenue needed, or an increase of 5.7 percent over the transfer received last fiscal year. This reliance on county funding is due to FCPS receiving less than half of the average state funding other Virginia jurisdictions receive. Other Virginia jurisdictions receive nearly 46 percent of their operating revenue from the state while FCPS expects to receive 22.5 percent of its budget from the state in the form of state aid and sales tax revenue. Federal funding provides less than 2 percent of FCPS’ annual operating revenue.
“Our community has confirmed time and again that our schools are a vital, valued, integral part of Fairfax County. We remain hopeful that once again our funding partners will make the necessary investments in our teachers and in our students,” said Lockard. “However, if revenues don’t meet the basic needs of our system, then we may need to consider fee increases as well as reducing, eliminating, and redesigning programs and services for the 2017-18 school year.
“Should reductions be needed, I believe the community’s voice is critical. To provide this input, I have reconvened the Budget Task Force to review and reprioritize the previous recommendations submitted for the FY 2017 budget, and to identify other recommendations that might be considered for the FY 2018 budget.”
The presentation of the FY 2018 Proposed Budget is the starting point of the budget process, which ends in May with the School Board’s adoption of the Approved Budget. The Fairfax County School Board will hold a work session on Monday, January 23, and public hearings on the FY 2018 budget on Monday, January 30 (and January 31 and February 1, if needed). An additional budget work session is scheduled for Thursday, February 2. The School Board will adopt its Advertised Budget on February 9 and present to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 4. Information about speaking at a budget public hearing and a list of relevant budget dates, along with updates and budget news, is available online.
Note: For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Budget Services at 571-423-3600.