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On February 1, Superintendent Dr. LaTanya D. McDade proposed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget to the School Board. The Superintendent’s proposed budget prioritizes investments aligned with the four commitments of the PWCS Vision 2025 Launching Thriving Futures Strategic Plan.

Dr. McDade noted, “While the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funding available to PWCS in response to the pandemic is ending, the needs of our students continue to grow.” The increased student enrollment includes a 40% increase in English Learner students, a 7.2% increase in students with special needs, and a 55% increase in economically disadvantaged students over the past five years.

Budget highlights include 75 new teaching assistants for classrooms serving students with special needs, three additional Pre-K classes, and retains 14 instructional coaches (previously funded by ARPA). Other classroom support includes international faculty, teacher residency programs, retaining 35 parent liaisons (previously funded by ARPA), and the addition of 62 parent liaisons. The budget also sustains 65 school-based safety and security personnel and adds eight staff positions dedicated to safety, and funds central level optimization with the modernization of budgetary practices.

Notably, employees will earn an average 5% pay increase. “Over the past four years, teacher raises across the board total 19.6% and over half of our teachers received 24% increases during this time through our continued investments in regionally competitive pay,” comments Dr. McDade.

In addition to the pay increase, the state provides partial funding for a 1% one-time bonus for positions funded in the Virginia Standards of Quality (SOQ). As in previous years, this bonus will not apply to all employees and must also be partially funded by PWCS.

Funding for the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) focuses on new additions and facilities to address growth, renovation projects for older schools, and advancing sustainability goals.

Following Dr. McDade’s presentation, the School Board will hold a public meeting on the FY 2024 Proposed Budget/CIP on February 6. On February 15, an official public hearing on the FY 2024 Budget will take place and, on March 8, a final School Board work session will be conducted. Upon approval, the School Board will submit the FY 2024 Budget/CIP to the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors. Information on the FY 2024 CIP and Budget may be found on the PWCS Budget website.