WASHINGTON — The Fairfax County public school system is so strapped for cash that a task force looking for ways to make cuts suggests eliminating high school sports.
The school system projects a budget shortfall of up to $100 million in fiscal 2017. The task force document detailing proposed cuts states the goal of the suggestions is to get a conversation started before preparing a fiscal 2017 budget proposal in January 2016.
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza tells The Washington Post that painful decisions are ahead when funding doesn’t keep up with even basic demands.
The task force’s draft of potential reductions includes the following suggestions:
- Increase class sizes;
- Reduce the number of assistant principals, psychologists and social workers;
- Eliminate after-school programs in middle school;
- Stop funding extracurricular activities, such as band, drama, yearbook, debate and student councils;
- Quit funding preschool;
- Reverse the move toward later high school start times;
- Either eliminate high school sports and associated staff or start charging athletic fees.
Sharon Bulova, the chair of Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors, tells The Post the idea of eliminating sports is just alarmist rhetoric, and that it’s not going to happen.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.