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Garza Asks Community for Budget Support April 7

by Karen Goff — April 3, 2015 at 9:30 am 9 Comments

FCPS Superintendent Karen GarzaFairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza is asking local parents and supporters of public schools to aid in the request for more money from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

For the $2.6 billion Fiscal Year 2016 budget, the school board has asked the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for an additional $70.6 million, or 3.99 percent, over the amount from FY 2015. 

The transfer request amount from the county is $14 million, or 0.79 percent, above the guidance provided by the Board of Supervisors, which included a 3 percent transfer increase plus the cost associated with full-day Mondays implemented this year.

The supervisors will hold public hearings on the budget on Tuesday, April 7, and Garza is inviting FCPS friends and family to speak up in support.

The superintendent sent this letter this week:

Dear FCPS friends and families,

Over the next few weeks, our local elected officials, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS), will be making decisions that will have a significant impact on our local public schools. These important decisions will directly impact the future of our most precious resource – our children. I invite you to join me and School Board Chairman Tamara Derenak Kaufax at the BOS public hearing regarding the FCPS budget on April 7 at 4 p.m. and show your support for our children.

The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Fiscal Year 2016 request of the County is very reasonable and pragmatic; unfortunately the County Executive presented a budget to the BOS that is $14 million short of fully funding our budget which, if approved by the BOS as presented, would result in even more cuts to our already strained system.

Since 2008, we have experienced significant budget cuts resulting in the elimination of more than 2,175 positions and almost a half-billion dollars in reductions to our operating funds. We cannot cut our way to greatness and our reputation and success must not be taken for granted. FCPS’ greatness cannot be sustained after many consecutive and continued years of shrinking investment.

We recognize that the BOS is a critical partner and, as such, are individually and collectively vested in the continued success of our great schools. Because our schools are their priority, we are confident the Supervisors will do the right thing for our children and families and will fully fund this reasonable budget request.

We thank you and our County leaders for your continued support of our schools. We know that this community understands that the most important investment we can make is in our young people — it is an investment that pays dividends to everyone in Fairfax long into the future.

I look forward to seeing you on the 7th at the Board of Supervisors hearing and thank you for making your voice heard.

Karen Garza/file photo

  • JoeInReston

    Is this the same school board that is proposing an 85% raise for themselves? Asking citizens to lobby the board of supervisors, who also gave themselves a big raise.

  • Ming the Merciless

    Since 2008, we have experienced significant budget cuts resulting in the elimination of more than 2,175 positions and almost a half-billion dollars in reductions to our operating funds

    I don’t understand how she arrives at this. The FY08 approved budget had $2,194.8 million as its operating fund. This year they say $2,523.3 million in funds are available. Sounds like they’re up half a billion, not down half a billion.

    • John Lovaas

      This from the same School Board that has basically frozen teacher pay for the last 5 years, offers what will turn out to be less than one per cent in 2016, and meanwhile just passed an 85 % increase for themselves. Thanks to Garza and this time-to-be-changed Board, Fairfax teachers have fallen to fifth place in starting pay among 10 Metro area jurisdictions and 8th out of 10’for pay after ten years in service.
      So, yes an increase is likely needed, but it should be applied only for teacher compensation IMHO.

      • Ming the Merciless

        That does not answer the question. And compensation relative to other counties is irrelevant. Teacher pay in Fairfax County should be determined by what the taxpayers here can afford and by teacher performance here, not by what teachers elsewhere are paid.

        If Fairfax County teachers want to go teach elsewhere, see ya later alligator!

        • John Lovaas

          Let’s see then–since Fairfax is second highest in income, I would think they can as well as should! Meanwhile, class sizes are also increasing….
          Yep, more work for less.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Per capita income in the county is about $50k. Average teacher salary is $60k. They are doing better than the average person in the county. Ergo, no need for a raise.

  • Quick speed

    The $34 million funding increase from the Board of Supervisors, the $30 million in funding from the state, which the school system did not include in their budget, a $25 million resulting in a 1.25 increase in the lapse rate, and $13 million resulting from eliminating raises for administrators who received an increase in pay last year is enough to cover the school system’s budget.

  • Mike M

    “Ahem. More is better. Thank you very much.”

    And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
    . . . they only answer “Mo! Mo! Mo!”

  • Michael P. McHugh

    “Ahem. More is better. Thank you very much.”

    And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
    . . . they only answer “Mo! Mo! Mo!”

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