Last night, the School Board approved its Proposed FY 2018 Arlington Public Schools (APS) budget to fund operations for the 2017-18 school year. The FY 2018 School Board’s proposed budget totals $614.3 million, and it still depends upon an additional $11.2 million from the County transfer to fully fund its needs.
The primary cost drivers of this year’s budget are:
- $8.3 million for student enrollment growth;
- $8.7 million for a step increase for eligible staff;
- $4.2 million for the increase in the Virginia Retirement System rate;
- $2.4 million to begin a three-year phase in of additional compensation to align with the current market for certain employees;
- $6.0 million to continue the initiatives that began in the FY 2017 budget (including the expansion of Arlington Tech at the Career Center, Central Registration, additional psychologists and social workers, substance abuse counselor, full-time bus drivers and bus attendants, safety and security upgrades, and technology support).
School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren said, “We are pleased to present the County Board with a needs-based budget that continues to provide an excellent education to our students. The School Board’s Proposed Budget ensures that we are able to maintain our reputation as one of the nation’s premiere school systems. In preparing our proposed budget, the School Board worked with staff to reduce our request to the County by $2.7 million.” She concluded, “We still face a gap of $11.2 million which we are working to address with the County. As always we thank the County Board and the community for their investment in Arlington Public Schools.”
The School Board’s proposed budget includes a tiered list of cuts that will be considered if all or a portion of the $11.2 million funding gap cannot be closed. The Board modified the tiered list proposed by the Superintendent, that includes these proposed reductions:
Tier 1 – Savings of $1.2 million; eliminates 9.5 staff positions
- Reduce staff, including some administrative assistants and a few positions in Facilities and Operations and Information Services
- Eliminate “Live Where You Work” program; professional development for new cohort
Tier 2 – Savings of $5.1 million; eliminates 52 staff positions
- Increase class size by 1 for grades 4-12;
- Eliminate Emergency Manager and Curriculum STEM Specialist positions;
- Reduce assigned cell phones; professional development funding;
- Postpone addition of school psychologists and social workers;
- Implement utilities efficiencies and select services, such as after school activity buses;
- Eliminate the addition of the new AETV Producer, Technician, and Central Registration positions.
Tier 3 – Savings of $5.0 million; eliminates 2.0 staff positions
- Postpone step increase to halfway through fiscal year;
- Eliminate recruitment coordinator and Print Shop;
- Implement efficiencies in utilities and select services, such as after school activity buses.
Today, April 7, the School Board presented the FY 2018 budget for APS to the County Board at a Joint Work Session. The School Board will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed budget at the next meeting on April 20, and a work session may be held if needed on April 25. The Board is scheduled to adopt the budget on May 4.
All materials related to the FY 2018 Budget are available online. Visit www.apsva.us/engage to provide your feedback and input throughout the process, and use #APSBudget on social media to join the conversation.