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Supervisors Will Give FCPS $33M More for 2017 Budget

by Karen Goff April 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm 9 Comments

FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza speaking at West Potomac High School/FCPS Channel 21A $16.8 million boost in state funding and additional money from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will result in practically closing the Fairfax County Public Schools’ projected multimillion shortfall for 2017.

FCPS had been facing a potential $67 million budget gap when it began planning for Fiscal Year 2017 earlier this year. The schools asked the county for about $2 billion, or half the county’s $3.99 billion budget, which is a 6-percent rise from last year.

At a budget mark-up session on Tuesday, the supervisors said they would provide an additional $33.6 million to schools. This was done by allocating an entire penny of the tax rate and using reallocated funds from Third Quarter Review, said Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova.

This will give the schools, which will receive 52.7 percent of the County’s General Fund budget, enough to “address teacher compensation, preserve existing programs, and begin working to decrease class size,” said Bulova.

“It is up to the elected officials on the School Board to determine the pay plan for teachers and how to prioritize funding for specific school programs such as language immersion and fourth grade strings,” Bulova’s office said in a statement.

The School Operating Transfer will now be increased by $88.4 million, or 4.8 percent over FY2016.

FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza said the schools now have “the opportunity to make a significant and critical investment in teacher salaries, and reduce class size, while not cutting vital student programming.”

“I am hopeful that this is reflective of a turning point in our community,” she added in a release. “This reinvestment in our community’s most important asset, our schools, will provide great dividends for all the citizens of Fairfax. We look forward to continuing to work as partners with the Board of Supervisors to solve future budget issues in the best interests of the residents of Fairfax County. ”

The supervisors will vote on the final budget on April 26. The schools will adopt their budget on May 26.

At Tuesday’s session, the board also voted 7-3 in favor of a $1.13 tax rate for FY2017, an increase from the FY2016 rate of $1.09 per $100 of assessed value. The 4-cent increase will generate approximately $93 million in additional county revenue.

The rise in the real estate tax rate will result in about a $303 increase in taxes next year for the typical Fairfax County homeowner.

The new budget year begins on July 1 — but the county and the schools are already forecasting a similarly large budget gap for 2018.

That is why the supervisors are also considering adding a meals tax referendum in the November election. A 4-percent meals tax — similar to the ones in Arlington, Alexandria and town of Herndon, Vienna and Fairfax City — would provide about $90 million of revenue for the county annually.

Read more about the budget markup overall impact on this post from Fairfax County.

Karen Garza/file photo

  • Ming the Merciless

    Now we have satisfied their legitimate grievances, they will surely go away and never blackmail, coerce, or threaten us again.

    • Greg

      Never again. Until the sky starts falling (again).

      • TBird73

        Which will be about 6 months from now.

  • susie

    What a diverse group – all women.

    • Mike M

      Leftist women who know what’s good for the rest of us plebes.

    • Karen Goff

      that’s a file photo from a speech she made at a school earlier this year. I believe those are teachers at said school who just happen to be women.

      • Ming the Merciless

        If my kids’ school is representative, 90% of FCPS teachers “just happen to be women.” If 90% of the teachers were men, one suspects it would be a newsworthy issue, but as it is, apparently nobody cares.

  • thebratwurstking

    Congratulations, the crying wolf game has worked once more! I feel the bern and being trumpt at the same time. All the while we are sinking deeper into the swamp of corruption and special interests. And sadly, none of these additional funds will help the actual educational process.

    Looking forward to next year, when they will ask for a double digit budget increase. Or else, all the children will die again, or at least will be severely harmed by the greedy mean public taxpayers…yeah!

  • TBird73

    Yet another scam successfully pulled off by the schools. And this one was so ridiculously blatant, and yet we all collectively rolled over and gave them everything they wanted. Amazing. I mean, they put together this sham of a “citizen advisory committee” who gave them citizen driven recommendations for what was not needed, and the INSTANT two of their own are elected to the BOS, they tossed the recommendations in the trash, dissolved the committee and submitted a budget with NOT ONE SIGNLE CUT. And the GLOATED about it!!?! What the…This is how you run a 2 BILLION DOLLAR government agency??!? Does everybody not understand the definition of EMBEZZELMENT?? How is this tolerated?

    I swear the only thing more bizarre than a presidential election is this annual carnival side show that somehow passes for a budget process. The fact that all this happened and they got one cent more than what they were told they would get is a travesty bordering on criminal.

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