The move was expected — and capped a year of dire forecasts, budget task forces and warnings of program cutbacks. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors also raised real estate taxes 4 cents to $1.13 per $100 of assessed value in order to nearly fully fund the schools with a $2 billion transfer.
“We are sincerely appreciative of the efforts of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors,” said School Board Chair Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill). “Working together, we were able to secure the funding necessary to make critical investments in teacher pay, reduce the size of some classes in our elementary schools, and maintain our instructional programs and services to our students. ”
“This budget is the first one in nine years that does not include difficult cuts to the FCPS operating budget,” she adds. “It enables us to begin the process of rebuilding the school division.”
The school system will be able to offer a salary increase of a step and a 1 percent market scale adjustment for all eligible employees; $40 million to enhance teacher salaries to make them more competitive; and more than $10 million to lower elementary school class (capping classes at 30 students)
The new budget takes effect July 1.
Other budget highlights:
The county transfer was an increase of 4.8 percent above FY 2016. There was also a 3.8 percent, or $22.3 million, increase in state aid and sales tax, and $6.7 million in reductions from enrollment as compared to 2016.
The FY 2017 budget recognizes compensation base savings of $19.1 million due to employee turnover and fuel savings of $2 million.
Investments of $2.2 million to replace some of FCPS’ aging buses are included in the FY 2017 budget. Also included are $13.8 million to cover health insurance increases and $14.7 million to cover retirement rate increases.
See more budget details on the FCPS website.