Funding Solid As New PWCS Budget Year Approaches
Posted on 06/21/2018

Prince William County Public Schools will begin a new budget year July 1 with all anticipated state and county funding in place to support its $1.5 billion operating and capital improvements spending plans.

Full funding was in question while Virginia legislators delayed passage of the state budget to debate the possible expansion of Medicaid in the Commonwealth. The final two-year Virginia budget signed by the Governor on June 7 included the Medicaid expansion and, with it, additional school funding needed for the state’s contribution to the School Board’s approved budget.

Along with continued funding for existing programs and services, the fiscal 2019 PWCS budget includes:

  • Thirteen additional social workers, a mental health specialist, psychologist, a new position to address human trafficking, and three additional high school counselors;
  • A full-step increase, with an average 2.7 percent pay adjustment, for all eligible employees (state budget changes have no impact on this year’s pay hike);
  • A supplemental pay rate increase for coaches and teachers who supervise clubs, as well as for substitutes and temporary employees;
  • Increased starting pay for bus drivers;
  • Opening of the new Independence Nontraditional School, and additions or renewal projects at 11 others; and
  • A pilot project to hire five retired law enforcement officers as armed security staff in Elementary Schools.

The Board of County Supervisors provided $500,000 in special funding to cover the costs of the security pilot. New security staff will be Division employees, but PWCS is working closely with Prince William County Police to finalize position details, and to recruit and train the new hires.

The Virginia budget’s inclusion of funds for a three percent teacher and staff pay raise will not lead to further increases for the fast approaching 2018-19 school year. The additional state funding toward raises is contained in the second year of Virginia’s biennial budget. Those funds are contingent on the state meeting revenue goals and, if they do materialize, would cover only about a third of PWCS costs for providing the increases.

The state’s budget and its updated revenue outlook will be important considerations when development of the 2020 PWCS budget gets underway later this year.