Friday, May 25, 2012
Fairfax County School Board Adopts FY 2013 Approved Budget
The Fairfax County School Board has adopted the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) FY 2013 Approved Budget of $2.4 billion that includes compensation increases for employees, the elimination of student athletic fees, more than 700 new positions to address enrollment growth, extended learning time for at-risk students, the expansion of the World Languages program in elementary schools, and a phase in of mandated employee contributions to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). The Approved Budget is an 8.2 percent increase over the FY 2012 Approved Budget.
The compensation package approved for employees includes a 2 percent salary increase to offset a 2 percent increase eligible employees will contribute to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) beginning July 1; a 1 percentage point reduction in the amount employees contribute to the Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System (ERFC) which provides a supplemental retirement plan for eligible FCPS personnel and a 1.25 percent market scale adjustment for all employees. “I’m pleased that we are once again able to give our employees a well-deserved raise,” said School Board Chairman Jane Strauss. “The overall budget does reflect the funding priorities set by the Board earlier this year including our continued commitment to quality academic programs and standards, resources for students not meeting academic expectations, closing the achievement gap and competitive salaries and benefits for our employees to ensure that we continue to attract the best employees to support student success.”
The budget includes an increase in state aid and sales tax and incorporates mandates made by the General Assembly to the VRS. Beginning July 1, all new FCPS personnel will be required to pay the state-mandated 5 percent employee contribution to VRS. For existing employees, the mandate allows school systems to phase in the shift over five years and the School Board adopted a plan to shift 2 percent to existing employees beginning in FY 2013 with the remaining amounts to be determined in future budgets.
The Approved Budget contains $48 million to address a projected increase of nearly 4,000 students for the 2012-13 school year bringing expected total membership to 181,536 students. Since 2008, FCPS’ enrollment has grown by more than 15,000 students with the greatest increases in the number of students with additional needs. Since FY 2008, the number of students enrolled in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) has risen nearly 45 percent and the number of students eligible for free or reduced price meals is up more than 38 percent. In addition, two new schools will open in September – Mason Crest Elementary School and South County Middle School.
FCPS receives nearly 70 percent of its funding from Fairfax County and this year the county transfer increased by 4.5 percent to $1.68 billion. The majority of the budget – approximately 88 percent – is for employee compensation. Within the School Operating Fund, 93 percent of positions are school-based and 7 percent are non-school based.
Instructional program funding includes $7.5 million for extended learning time for students; $2.5 million to add to the staffing reserve to mitigate large class sizes; $0.9 million to expand the Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools program to eight additional schools and implementing the Foreign Language Immersion program in two new schools. In addition, the School Board approved $0.6 million to add School Board office staff, $0.5 million to support the high school band program, and $0.1 million to expand the Pathways to the Baccalaureate, part of the College Success program, to four additional high schools – Centreville, Chantilly, South County and Westfield – and expanding the program to 10th and 11th grades at Annandale, Edison, Falls Church, Lee, Mount Vernon, South Lakes, and Stuart High Schools and Hayfield Secondary School. The program works to develop college readiness and provide ongoing support to students who enroll in Northern Virginia Community College with the intent of transferring to a four-year Virginia college to earn a bachelor’s degree.
The Board also voted to eliminate athletic fees resulting in a revenue reduction of $1.7 million, allocate $0.1 million to fund a freshly prepared food kitchen renovation pilot, increase funding in the VRS reserve by $1.5 million, and provide $2 million for benefits for parent liaisons and multilingual interpreters.
For information on the FCPS FY 2013 budget, visit http://www.fcps.edu/news/fy2013.shtml
Note: For more information, contact Kristen Michael at 571-423-3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org