Teachers and other public school employees could be taking more home in their paychecks in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Alexandria City School Board approved the $345.8 million budget for fiscal year 2023 on Thursday.
Alexandria City Public Schools said the budget is focused on paying staff more, the quality of out-of-school learning and the “social, emotional and academic learning supports for students in preschool through grade 12.”
The FY 2023 budget makes possible “a competitive salary and benefits program” that ACPS said will enable it to “continue to recruit and retain high-quality staff, including an average 2.6% salary step increase and a market rate adjustment of 2.5% for eligible staff.”
ACPS said the budget includes “a 2% one-time payment of base salary for those who are not eligible for a step increase due to being on a hold step or at the top of their scale, and market-rate adjustments for select staff” as well — with the aim of making “those salaries competitive in the region.”
Eligible staff includes bus drivers, bus monitors, bus mechanics, paraprofessionals, elementary and middle school principals and department chiefs.
ACPS said it will continue funding its share for the cost of benefit programs “such as the Virginia Retirement System and ACPS’ Supplemental Retirement Fund.”
In a statement thanking school board members, Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. said the budget “makes it possible for our school division to keep investing in the future of our students and in our staff who work so hard to help our students learn and thrive.
The budget, which Hutchings proposed to the school board Jan. 6, provides additional “support for maintaining and improving learning spaces, a commitment to professional learning as well as growth opportunities and instructional excellence” as well, according to ACPS.
Additional budget priorities include:
- Grades K-4 literacy
- Equitable Talented and Gifted (TAG) identification of Black and Hispanic students
- Focusing on high school graduation rates and addressing chronic absenteeism among Hispanic male students
- Expanding access and improving the quality of out-of-school learning
- Continued use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds to “aid in the recovery of learning loss and address trauma” experienced during the coronavirus pandemic
Money for the budget is expected to be approved by the Alexandria City Council May 4, when it adopts its budget for next year.