The Fairfax County School Board formally adopted interim Superintendent Steve Lockard’s proposed $2.8 billion operating budget at its Feb. 9 meeting, following several work sessions and public hearings on the matter.
The adopted budget calls for an increase of $135.1 million, or 5.1 percent from the FY2017 approved figure. That includes $44 million for a 2.5 percent step increase for all employees who are eligible, $33.2 million into a multi-year plan for making teacher salaries more competitive with surrounding jurisdictions, and $45.9 million to cover expected health insurance and retirement system contribution raises.
FCPS School Board chair Sandy Evans called the adopted budget “a reflection of what we value as a school system and as a community.
“Great teachers, administrators and support employees are the foundation of our excellent school system,” Evans continued in a statement. “Providing market competitive compensation, especially for our teachers, continues to be our top priority.”
Teachers would benefit from a market scale adjustment, Fairfax County said, and non-teacher salaries would be adjusted one percent.
“We recognize the need for fiscal responsibility and as such we are seeking support only for what we believe to be necessary to sustain the excellence we expect in Fairfax County,” Evans said.
Evans’ statement went on to lament the voting down of a proposed “meals tax” on prepared food that was estimated to bring in $100 million in revenue for Fairfax County — around 70 percent of which would have gone to FCPS, proponents from both the Board of Supervisors and school board said leading up to the vote.
A first look at the gap between a requested transfer from Fairfax County that is 5.9 percent greater than last year’s and where the county stands will come as County Executive Ed Long announces the Fairfax County Advertised Budget Feb. 14.
A year ago, Long’s advertised budget fell $68 million short of the request from then-FCPS superintendent Karen Garza, igniting contention between the boards and anger from many community members who urged county leaders to “fully fund FCPS.”
Between now and when FCPS is scheduled to adopt an approved budget for FY2018 on May 25, there are budget work sessions lined up for Monday, March 13; Monday, April 24; Monday, May 1; and Thursday, May 18.
A joint budget work session is scheduled for Feb. 21. The school board will bring another approved budget to the supervisors April 4.
For more information on budget dates and news, visit https://www.fcps.edu/about-fcps/budget/FY2018.