The new Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) budget could signal big changes for local schools, including extended availability of school counselors and new middle school athletics programs.
Superintendent Dr. Michelle C. Reid presented the budget for the 2023-2024 school year at a meeting last Thursday (Jan. 12).
The $3.5 billion budget is a $249.6 million (7.6%) increase over the approved budget for fiscal year 2023, which began July 1, 2022 and ends June 30.
Reid is requesting an additional $159.6 million from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Part of that cost comes from an increase in employee compensation.
According to a release from FCPS, the budget includes:
- $80.9 million to provide a market scale adjustment of 3.0% for all employees.
- $58.2 million to provide a step increase for all eligible employees.
- $19.9 million to provide a 1.0% retention bonus for employees hired in FCPS during FY 2023 and remaining employed with FCPS in FY 2024.
- $4.3 million to provide a step extension for all scales.
Several members of the school board praised the proposed increase for staff compensation.
Another popular item among school board members is funding to provide middle school spring and fall athletic activities.
“You had me at middle school sports,” said Hunter Mill District representative Melanie Meren. “I think about where I grew up and the sports there, and it’s something that’s so missed here…I know this is a significant ask, but we are going to get an incredible investment. I’m eager to work to make this happen.”
Student representative Michele Togbe said the expansion of high school counseling for students into summer break will be a welcome improvement.
“If I could hug a budget, I would hug this budget,” Togbe said. “With the counselors, I think it’s really cool that we’re expanding their contract and their days.”
Other notable investments in the new budget include:
- Increased access to Pre-K: the budget includes $2 million to provide resources for 10 additional Pre-K classrooms.
- Support for students with disabilities: the budget includes $2 million to be allocated to the Special Education Compensatory Services Fund to address learning loss caused by the pandemic
- Changing student enrollment needs: the budget includes a variety of improvements grouped together as “student enrollment needs,” including paying for increased costs in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs and free and reduced-price meals, totaling around $65.2 million for 679.2 positions
The Fairfax County budget will be presented on Feb. 21, followed by a joint meeting of the school board and Board of Supervisors on Feb. 28. Public meetings will be held in April followed by final adoption on May 9 for the county budget and May 25 for the school budget.
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Are you ready for summer? Live Fairfax has a bucket list of indoor activities, outdoor escapades and trips to explore this summer.
Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road