Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand presented a $3.0 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Proposed Budget, with a focus on employee compensation, to the Fairfax County School Board at its business meeting on Jan. 10. The FY 2020 Proposed Budget represents an increase of $117.4 million, or 4.1 percent, over the FY 2019 Approved Budget.
“Student success begins and ends with a highly qualified teacher in every classroom, which is why the FY 2020 Proposed Budget continues to focus on our strategic priority of recruiting and retaining great teachers through market competitive compensation,” said Brabrand. “The proposed budget includes a $55.2 million investment in the teacher salary scales which is the final phase of a multi-year plan to bring teacher salaries to the market average and includes a 1.0 percent market scale adjustment. Our goal is to ensure that every student–by name and by need–receives an excellent and equitable education in a 21st- century learning environment with the very best teachers.”
“The FY 2020 Proposed Budget takes us closer to aligning with the four key priorities in our strategic plan – Student Success, Caring Culture, Premier Workforce, and Resource Stewardship,” said Brabrand. “Resources are allocated to maximize student achievement and support classroom efforts to achieve Portrait of a Graduate outcomes for every FCPS student. We are reaffirming our commitment to keep the focus on students, teachers, and classroom instruction.”
THE PROPOSED BUDGET includes $46.8 million for a step increase for eligible employees, and $8.2 million for a 1.0 percent market scale adjustment for employees who are not teachers. An additional $12.0 million is provided for instructional programs, which includes funding to distribute a laptop to every high school student as part of the FCPSOn 1-to-1 initiative to prepare students for college and careers.
The budget also realigns the elementary staffing standard which will result in an overall average class size reduction of 1.4 students at elementary schools during the primary hiring season.
“Since becoming superintendent, I have made it a priority to establish and maintain a cooperative and collaborative relationship with our county funding partners - the Board of Supervisors and the County Executive,” Brabrand continued. “In FY 2019, we received full funding for the first time in more than 20 years and we will continue to work in tandem with the County to address the investment needs of our school division.” The budget assumes a slight decrease in student enrollment which will result in savings of $6.3 million. Overall, the FY 2020 budget allocates 86 percent of available funding to instructional programs with more than 93 percent of employees school-based. When aligned to the FCPS Strategic Plan, Ignite, 53 percent of FCPS programs have been identified as supporting Student Success.
The presentation of the FY 2020 Proposed Budget is the starting point of the budget process, which ends in May with the School Board’s adoption of the Approved Budget. The 2020 fiscal year begins July 1, 2019.
The Fairfax County School Board will hold work sessions on the FY 2020 budget on Tuesday, Jan. 22, and Thursday, Jan. 31, along with a public hearing on Monday, Jan, 28 (and Jan. 29 and 30, if needed).
The School Board will adopt its Advertised Budget on Feb. 7 and present the budget to the Board of Supervisors on April 9.