FCPS will make additional pay raises priority of next budget

FCPS busFairfax County school officials are telling the county Board of Supervisors — which provides the majority of the school system’s annual funding — that they will need an additional $134 million for the next fiscal year as they look for ways to increase teacher salaries, the Washington Post reports.


Superintendent Karen Garza, who will leave her post in December, presented a budget forecast earlier this month before the county Board of Supervisors. The preliminary budget talks for Fiscal Year 2018 will start this fall, with the fornal request coming in January for the start of the fiscal year in July.

Garza gave a similar warning a year ago, organizing a budget advisory group that looked into cutting sports, music and language immersion programs, if Fairfax County Public Schools did not receive full funding.

In the end, the school system got $2 billion from the county and recommitted to keeping elementary class sizes small and giving teacher raises.

FCPS has said it wants to continue to boost overall salaries to keep the system competitive.

Fairfax County voters will weigh in on a meals tax referendum Nov. 8. If it passes, a county meals tax would provide about $100 million for the county (about 70 percent of which will go to the schools).

However, giving more teachers raises is expected to cost at least that much. School board chair Sandy Evans (Mason) said she wants to give an extra increase to mid-career teachers, whose pay is at a competitive disadvantage compared with neighboring districts, the Washington Post reports.

“We have fallen behind where we want to be in teacher pay, particularly in that midcareer level,” Evans said.

School board member Elizabeth Schultz (Springfield) says the school system should go back and look for more cuts and efficiencies rather than asking taxpayers for more money.

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