Fairfax County schools superintendent proposes change to teacher salaries

WASHINGTON — Administrators at Fairfax County Public Schools are facing a tough decision: What to fund and what to cut while addressing a multi-million- dollar budget shortfall for 2015.

During a Monday evening Fairfax County School Board meeting, Superintendent Karen Garza proposed a plan that will help the school system fill the $17 million projected budget shortfall for 2015.

Garza says teachers will receive salary increases — but they will be less than originally planned, according to The Washington Post.

Fairfax County schools originally planned to give teachers and staff $41 million in salary increases, but the Fairfax board of supervisors could not give the 5.7 percent increase in local funding for the schools’ $2.5 billion budget, The Post reports. Last week, the supervisors voted to give the schools a 3 percent increase in county funding next year.

Garza told The Post that the schools likely will receive close to $30 million in additional revenue from the state, which will partly fill the hole in the schools budget.

Also, Garza proposed the school system pay the fees for students to take Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Covering the testing fees would take about $4 million of the budget.

The Post reports that AP tests will cost $81 per exam next school year. The total fees for students seeking the IB diploma will total $783 in 2014.

“Students see this as an additional barrier that we don’t need to put in front of them,” Garza said of the fees, according to The Post.

“The $4 million is not going to make that much difference in the scheme of things,” she added.

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