Garza Asks Community for Budget Support April 7

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

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