Revised on March 29, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
Under new business at last night’s School Board meeting, the Arlington School Board discussed, voted and passed a motion on the FY 2020 Budget. School Board Member Monique O’Grady presented the motion, which urges the County Board to consider a dedicated one-cent tax increase for schools in addition to the County Manager’s proposed one-cent tax increase for schools:
“I move that the School Board Chair convey to the County Board Chair that in our initial review of the Superintendent’s budget, there are many possible cuts that go beyond efficiencies and, in some cases, go against APS’s mission, vision, values, and goals as stated in our Strategic Plan. With that in mind and because the County Board has advertised the possibility of a tax rate increase to address APS’s growing needs, we will likely request a dedicated one cent increase for schools over the county manager’s proposed one cent increase for schools. That additional $7.8 M above the manager’s proposal still requires APS to make at least $11 M in reductions, including 23 FTEs, but would keep APS from cutting so deeply that students would be harmed and equity would be compromised.”
The vote was 3-2. Vice Chair Tannia Talento and Members Nancy Van Doren and Monique O’Grady voted in favor of the motion. Chair Reid Goldstein and Member Barbara Kanninen voted against the motion and expressed their concern that the School Board’s budget deliberation process was not yet completed.
The School Board is scheduled to hear from the APS advisory committees at the next Budget Work Session on April 2, and will continue to work before the members finalize the School Board’s proposed budget on April 11.
The County Board will hold a Public Hearing on the tax rate on April 4, and then both Boards will meet in a Joint Work Session on April 12. The County Board will set the tax rate increase and allocation as part of the approved FY 2020 Budget on April 23.