Superintendent Williams Prepares to Unveil Proposed School Budget

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.

Follow the budget process here.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

3 thoughts on “Superintendent Williams Prepares to Unveil Proposed School Budget

  • 2018-12-29 at 8:35 am
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    Let’s put this into perspective:

    For years, LCPS saw large enrollment increases in the range of 3-4% per year. That enrollment has dropped off a cliff with the latest year coming in around 1%. In the FY20 year, it is only projected to be 1.5%. And note that the actual kids who showed up to school on Sep 30, 2018 were LESS than the number of kids LCPS projected to show up on Sep 30, 2016 – two years earlier. Our school system is hardly growing at all.

    LCPS asked for massive budget increases and the BOS consistently gave them between $60-75M in additional funding each year for the last 4-5 years. That was to help account for the 3-4% enrollment increase. And even then, LCPS couldn’t even spend $40M+ of that funding in the last few years.

    So why is LCPS asking for an extraordinary $116 funding increase when (a) their enrollment has cratered from 4% growth to 1% and (b) they have $40M in their budget each year they can’t spend? Well because (i) they simply cannot perform basic arithmetic to calculate accurate numbers and (ii) they want to give LCPS employees massive raises up to 15%/year. It’s no coincidence that nearly half of them have spouses who work in LCPS standing to gain from that transfer of taxpayer $ to their family paychecks.

    Note that LCPS is not hurting for teacher applicants. They only provide job offers to about 1 in 6 qualified applicants (it’s harder to get an LCPS job offer than it is to get accepted into UVA). For black applicants, only 1 in 12 get a job offer (it’s harder for black applicants to get a job offer than for them to get accepted into Harvard). LCPS could replace over 60% of its entire teacher population in a single year with the number of applicants it receives. LCPS has the lowest teacher vacancy rate of any Virginia district and 3x more teachers transfer from Fairfax to LCPS than go the other way.

    This is simply a money grab by our conflicted school board members who are voting to increase their spouses’ paychecks over allowing taxpayers to keep some of their own hard-earned 3%/year raises. The BOS should give no more than a $20M increase from FY19 (coupled with the $40M unspent funds each year that gives LCPS $60M extra or more than enough). The voters should cast the entire school board off in Nov 2019.

  • 2018-12-29 at 5:52 pm
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    I really enjoy reading what virginia_sgp has to say. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  • 2019-01-02 at 11:49 am
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    Pork and sauerkraut. It’s a New Year’s tradition and an LCPS budget mandate.

    All School Board members are up for reelection this year. Let’s see multiple candidates in every district to disrupt the status quo and make real improvements.

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