Shortly after teachers and students return to the classrooms after their winter break, Superintendent Eric Williams will unveil his spending plan for the school system’s next fiscal year.
The superintendent is scheduled to present his proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2020 to the School Board on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Fiscal year 2020 begins on July 1, 2019.
Early projections indicate Williams could be requesting as much as $116 million more next fiscal year. That’s above and beyond the current fiscal year’s $1.189 billion operating budget.
He has told the School Board it may require as much as $34.6 million just to cover the costs of enrollment growth, which planners predict will increase by almost 2,000 students by fall of 2019.
The superintendent also expects to ask for more than $6 million to staff two new schools; almost $30 million to adjust the teachers’ salary scale; another $21 million to provide eligible employees an annual raise to average 2.4 percent; about $7 million for increased health care costs; and another $17.8 million for other compensation increases. Williams has also given the board a heads up that his proposed budget could include an increase of $6.3 million for textbooks, digital learning resources, and instructional and technology enhancements.
The School Board will hold four budget work sessions—on Jan. 15, 22, 24 and 31—ahead of adopting a budget plan on Feb. 5. The Jan. 24 meeting will also double as a public hearing, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the school administration building, 21000 Education Court in Ashburn.
The School Board will present its adopted budget as a formal funding request to the county Board of Supervisors, which will vote on just how much local tax dollars to give to the school system.