Budget Priorities

Dr. Steve Walts, superintendent of Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), presented his proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget to the Prince William School Board on February 5, 2020.

During the presentation, he shared that he is proud of the school division accomplishments during the 15 years he has served as superintendent. He said the division has experienced significant changes, and achieved major accomplishments, including an on-time graduation rate that has risen for the past decade to the current high of 92.4 percent and achieving 100 percent accreditation for all our schools.

He added that during his tenure, the student enrollment has increased from 65,000 to more than 91,500, the number of English Language Learners has increased from 4,900 to nearly 15,000, and students who qualify as economically disadvantaged have increased from about 15,000 to more than 37,000. However, despite these dramatic changes, he said, the per pupil spending has remained nearly flat when adjusted for inflation, and PWCS remains second to last among our peer school divisions in the Washington, D.C., region.

Dr. Walts presented a needs-based budget that is focused on six key areas aligned to PWCS' strategic priorities:

  1. Educational equity, and academic achievement for all, including increased economic disadvantaged funding, digital equity, and the creation of a Chief Equity Officer;
  2. Teachers and staff, providing a 4.8 percent average salary increase for eligible employees and no health care cost increase;
  3. Pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) access, a near doubling of Pre-K classrooms in Prince William County Public Schools to 49 classrooms through increased use of state matching funds;
  4. Student mental health and wellness, sustaining investments in counselors, and hiring social workers and an additional psychologist shared between our Global Welcome Centers;
  5. Career, military, and college readiness, continuing implementation of our five-year Career and Technical Education (CTE) Plan and providing incentives to teachers to become dual enrollment certified, and
  6. Sustainable facilities, school safety, and support infrastructure, focusing on Capital Improvements Program investments in our oldest schools including natural daylighting (fenestration) projects, security upgrades for older schools, and studying opportunities for sustainability improvements.

The School Board will hold a public meeting on Monday, February 10, at 7 p.m. and a public hearing at 7 p.m. on February 19, at the Kelly Leadership Center. The County Board of Supervisors will hold a public budget hearing on April 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the James J. McCoart Administration Building.

More information on the proposed budget can be found on the Budget Updates page.