School Board Holds Budget Work Session
School Board Members heard presentations on the proposed 2017–18 budget for the PWCS Central Office at a February 23 work session. Details and narratives contained in the Budget Book for the session
highlight how offices including Special Education, Student Services, Transportation, Finance, Risk Management and Security, IT, and Human Resources combine to serve the growing needs of more than 90,000 students. A document containing complete details of the proposed Division Budget will be published shortly.
The budget update presentation that kicked off the meeting began with a presentation
(link) that summarized the latest changes to expected revenues. It also highlighted the costs and impacts of the proposed 2% across-the-board pay increase for all employees versus a one-step alternative. As the presentation reveals, first approach would provide 2% to everyone. A step would yield a higher percentage for some, and less than two percent for many.
Compensation and other issues will be addressed as the School Board continues its budget review.
Upcoming Work Sessions
A special work session for final markup on the FY 2018 budget is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m.
*Please note: A work session previously scheduled for March 2 has been cancelled. School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers will hold two Town Hall meetings on the budget, Friday, March 3, 6:30–8 p.m. at Mullen Elementary School and Monday, March 6, 6:30–8 p.m. at Forest Park High School.
An official public hearing is slated for Wednesday, March 15, following which the School Board is scheduled to approve the Proposed FY 2018 Budget and CIP. The School Board will then present its budget to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on March 28.
Proposed FY 2018 Budget Unveiled
The proposed Prince William County Public Schools FY 2018 budget Superintendent Steve Walts unveiled at the February 1 School Board meeting is designed to serve the needs and aspirations of each of the nearly 91,000 students expected for the 2017-18 school year. The proposed $1.14 billion operating and debt service spending plan addresses School Board priorities to maintain the incremental progress achieved to reduce class size, close achievement gaps, and limit the use of educational trailers.
“We are proud of our top-notch people, programs, and facilities that are essential to student success and continuous school improvement, but continue to find ourselves constrained by limits on funding,” Walts said. He highlighted some of the proposed plan’s benefits that reflect School Board and administration priorities.
The proposed FY 2018 budget:
- Maintains all existing educational programs and services;
- Provides more than $26 million for 2,420 students more than included in the 2016-17 budget;
- Boosts employee pay by two percent to help attract and retain the best teachers and staff;
- Funds $8.9 million in increased debt payments on needed school construction and improvements, including the new non-traditional school at Independent Hill;
- Covers costs to open the new elementary school at Potomac Shores and the replacement for Kilby Elementary School; and
- Invests an additional $8.4 million toward meeting urgent classroom, school, and Division technology improvement needs.
Financial details of the proposed budget itself were provided in a budget presentation by Associate Superintendent for Finance and Support Services Dave Cline.
Walts noted that anticipated funding from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) and the Commonwealth of Virginia—while higher than the year before—lags behind costs of added enrollment, inflation, and growing expectations. PWCS anticipated per-pupil funding is still among the lowest in the Washington, DC metro area.
At the School Board’s direction, Walts also included a supplemental plan identifying $11.4 million to achieve greater progress in the areas of class-size reduction, elimination of trailers, closing the achievement gaps, and other budget priorities.
School Board members will review the proposal and hear from community members, before providing input of their own. The School Board will hold work sessions and is slated to vote on a final budget and updated CIP on March 15.
View Budget Presentation.