Proposed Loudoun School Budget Seeks 10.8 Percent Local Funding Increase

Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams on Thursday presented his recommended $1.395 billion FY 2021 operating budget that calls for a 10.8 percent increase in local tax funding.

The proposal envisions the creation of 521.25 additional full-time equivalent positions—bringing the school division’s staffing to a total of12,320—and $113.6 million in additional spending. Nearly half of the expense increase would be used to boost staff salaries. For teachers, salaries are expected to increase between $3,726 and $8,029, with an overall average increase of $5,445 for the division’s 6,592 teachers, according to his presentation.

Administrators are projecting a 1.9 percent increase in enrollment next year, 1,580 new students. To address that growth, the budget allocates $31.9 million to maintain class sizes and open one new school,LightridgeHigh School, in August.

Another$25.6 million is proposed for enhancements and reallocations. Among those proposals is to hire more teachers for special education, gifted education, English language learner programs and computer science, as well as more security officers and contractors.

Williams proposes a $6 million investment in efforts to address equity concerns. He plans to create a supervisor of equity position to report to the recently created direct of equity and to create a team of a supervisor and three instructional facilitators to focus on equity and culturally responsive instruction. Two teachers will be hired to expand programs aimed at bringing more diversity to gifted education programs. Five new positions will be charged with reducing discipline disproportionality and decreasing use of hateful speech and racial slurs.

Williams also proposes to expand the universal free breakfast program from four schools to 13 schools, as well as to decrease lunch prices by 10 cents across the board.

The budget would eliminate application fees for the Academies of Loudoun programs. It also retains funding to provide transportation to Loudoun students who attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, a service the previous School Board eyed cutting.

Overall, the proposed budget increases the division’s per-student cost by $972, to $16,213.

Williams said he was enthusiastic about the proposed budget. “Students only get one shot at K through 12 education, so it is important that we get it right,” he said.

The information was presented to the School Board only three days after members took the oath of office to begin their four-year term. Up to six work sessions are planned over the next several weeks to provide detailed briefings on spending plan, with final adoption scheduled for Feb. 4. The first work session will be Tuesday afternoon.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed County Administrator Tim Hemstreet to base his budget recommendations on the revenue that would be generated by holding the current real estate tax rate level. Under that condition, the school division’s budget talks begin with an anticipated $22.4 million funding gap. The $1.045 tax rate is expected to result in an allocation of $71.8 million for schools. Williams’ budget would require a $94.1 million increase in local tax funding.

4 thoughts on “Proposed Loudoun School Budget Seeks 10.8 Percent Local Funding Increase

  • 2020-01-10 at 1:50 pm

    This is scandalous!

    LCPS is demanding 10%+ raises for teachers who work 190 days per year and have 1000s of applicants ready to take their place. Spending has skyrocketed as enrollment growth has plummetted.

    LCPS pays teachers MORE than Fairfax right now. Teachers transfer INTO Loudoun at 3x the rate they transfer to Fairfax. Why are SB members demanding $5000-9000 raises for their family members and friends inside LCPS?

    Meanwhile, 100s of students are turned away from vocational courses because LCPS cares more about its greedy adult employees than about students. How can these teachers live with themselves demanding $8000 raises with students being denied votech courses and single income $40K moms having to pay $100s more in taxes for teacher greed?

    • 2020-01-10 at 3:55 pm

      I agree….this is scandalous!
      Increasing headcount by over 500 positions for the addition of 1500 students. Are you kidding?
      Increasing pay by 10%?
      Increasing spending per student by almost $1000?
      The school board is clearly OUT OF CONTROL.
      Loudoun taxpayers are being fleeced!

  • 2020-01-10 at 9:10 pm

    Six million dollars to close the gap in educational achievement of some minorities?
    We know about one minority that is wildly successful. Why don’t our educators adopt this minority’s model of learning? Here are some of the Ad Hoc Committee on Equity Recommendations to the School Board to eliminate unconscious/implicit bias believed to create equity gaps, etc.
    No. 6 recommendation by the LCPS consultant, Equity Collaborative, is to “establish culturally responsive framework to inform curricular and instructional efforts across the division.” Huh?
    No. 10 is “Common Language for Diversity, Equity, and inclusion. Per Equity Assessment:
    Recommendation: Develop and socialize a shared understanding of the meaning of diversity, equity, and inclusion among educators”
    No. 14 “Provide K-12 student version of implicit bias and diversity, equity and inclusion training”
    No. 17 Ensure that the screening and/or referral and identification of students for Gifted Education, Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, Honors and the Academies of Loudoun be more equitable within LCPS for students who have been historically marginalized.
    No. 11 “All Licensed and Classified staff will receive Implicit Bias, Diversity, and, Equity and Inclusion training”
    No. 12 Require ongoing and differentiated professional development opportunities for all LCPS staff, targeting implicit Bias, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Cultural Responsiveness”
    No. 13 “Offer / Provide Equity in the Center-like Training to parents”
    So LCPS students, parents, and school employees will become victims of the latest craze emanating from the sociology departments of colleges and universities: That something we don’t know we have is preventing certain students from becoming successful learners?
    Home schooling is becoming more attractive everyday.

  • 2020-01-10 at 10:52 pm

    I agree scandalous indeed! And WHY do kids going to TJ get a bus when all other kids who special permission must provide their own transportation. Not to mention LCPS doesn’t even have enough bus drivers to properly transport kids within the county and to continue using resources on those who chose to leave the county is ridiculous! And 6 million dollars to address equity concerns based on a bogus study Dr. Williams had completed?? Why the need to decrease lunch by 10 cents, really? I made be reading the story wrong but how many of those “521.25 additional full-time equivalent positions” will actually be teachers and not admin? Appalled!!

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