The number one priority is increased funding for our public schools (kindergarten through high school).
The state’s per-student direct aid funding remains below Fiscal Year 2006 levels when adjusted for inflation. State reductions in school funding have required the county to use more of your tax dollars (primarily real estate taxes) in order to maintain a quality public school system.
Here’s the breakdown of where our schools receive funding:
- Fairfax County Government – 72 Percent
- Commonwealth of Virginia – 23 percent
- Federal government and other sources – 5 percent
The Board of Supervisors has increased the funding transfer to schools from $1.4 billion in 2005 to $2.1 billion in the current budget (FY 2017). More than half of the county’s general fund budget goes to FCPS, not including additional school-based programs such as school nurses and the School Age Child Care program.
The challenge for county funding of our schools continues with both the county and FCPS facing difficult budget forecasts for the next fiscal year. Two key impacts are very limited growth in real estate tax revenues and the rising costs of programs and services. County Executive Ed Long announced in November that he projects only $74 million in additional revenue in for the upcoming budget FY 2018 (begins July 1, 2017) to cover:
- $90 million in county funding priorities, not including many significant items.
- $134 million in FCPS funding needs.