It is well documented that our Fairfax County Public Schools need more funding. And we’re not alone. According to a recent report, Virginia is one of the top 10 states in income but in the bottom 10 for state funding of K-12 education.
The state’s K-12 funding is now below what it was in 2005, when adjusted for inflation. These state cuts have required the county to use more of your tax dollars (primarily real estate taxes) in order to maintain a quality public school system. Adding to the challenge is that the county faces a difficult budget forecast for the next fiscal year, with a projected $85 million shortfall.
The Board of Supervisors is working with several other Virginia counties and cities to encourage the General Assembly to increase funding for K-12 education. You can support more funding for FCPS by contacting your delegate and state senator before and during the General Assembly session, which began Jan. 13.
Watch this video, which explains how the lack of state funding is impacting Fairfax County and other jurisdictions across Virginia.
Why FCPS needs more state funding:
Despite the challenging budget outlook, we project that we will increase support of FCPS by 3 percent for the next fiscal year, not including capital funding and several other support services such as school nurses and the School Age Child Care program. However, costs are increasing countywide and we face difficult decisions for other critical and important county services for residents.
In the last decade, the Board of Supervisors has increased the budget for schools from $1.4 billion in 2005 to $2 billion in 2015.
Virginia’s budget does not cover many of its mandated education costs for FCPS and other jurisdictions. In addition, the General Assembly made several permanent and structural budget cuts during the economic recession. More information
From the FCPS FY 2017 Budget Forecast:
FCPS is facing a projected shortfall of $60.6 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2016.
- This is prior to the impact of uncertainties that remain including state revenue and enrollment.
- Assumes a 3 percent increase in the county transfer.
- Does not include unfunded needs and strategic plan investments.
Now is the time to get involved whether you have school children or not. Let the General Assembly know how you feel by contacting your state legislators. Here are some more resources to consult:
- Video and Information from Dec. 11, 2015, meeting of elected officials from Virginia’s Urban Crescent jurisdictions (Northern Virginia to Fredericksburg and Richmond through to Hampton Roads) to discuss the need for increased state funding for K-12 education.
- Governor McAuliffe Announces $1+ Billion Investment in K-12 (12/15/15)
- FY 2017 Budget Timeline (FY 2017 begins July 1, 2016)
- Fairfax County Budget Information
- Fairfax County Public Schools Budget Information
- Virginia General Assembly