Proposed School Budget Includes an Increased County Transfer
On Thursday, January 6, Fairfax County Public School Superintendent Jack
Dale presented his proposed budget to the School Board. In it, he
requests that the Fairfax County transfer be increased by $48.8 million,
or three percent more than Fiscal Year 2011.
This transfer request is largely a result of a proposed increase in compensation for all employees. Both a market scale adjustment ($35.8 million) and step increments for those eligible ($40.2 million) are included in the proposed budget, though a number of fixed costs such as retirement and health insurance are increasing as well. The proposed budget also includes an additional 258.4 positions to support changes in student demographics and projected membership growth of 2,120 students.
As discussed in a previous edition of the Beacon, unlike the last several years, residential property values are projected to increase for FY 2012. If the tax rate is held at the FY 2011 level of $1.09, the average homeowner, with a home valued assessed at $432,439, will pay $156.96 more than last year. Such action would still require $50 million in spending reductions to balance the County budget. Each penny on the real estate rate equates to $19.1 million, so for the County to meet the Superintendent’s request without cutting spending further, the tax rate would need to be raised by 2.5 cents, resulting in an additional tax burden of roughly $110 on top of the $156.96.
Supervior Cook continues to believe that property tax payments should not increase. He has called on the School Board to review administrative, transportation and special program expenses to acheive savings.
The School Board will hold public hearings on the FY 2012 budget on January 24 and 25 at Jackson Middle School. To sign up to speak please go to this website: http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/requestspeak.htm.