Employee raises, special education and mental health are a few priorities for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) Superintendent Steve Walts.
The public heard details of Walts’ proposed fiscal 2020 budget at a School Board meeting on Wednesday.
John Wallingford, associate superintendent for finance and risk management presented the estimated $1.1 billion proposal, which is a 4.4 percent increase from this year’s spending plan.
The proposed fiscal 2020 budget sets aside nearly $25 million for employee raises.
If it’s approved, teachers and staff would receive a nearly 5 percent raise, which includes a “step increase” and a cost of living adjustment, according to Walts.
“This is the largest pay raise in a decade,” Walts told the School Board. “This is, in part, due to state funding of a total of five percent salary increase divided over two years of state budgets.”
It also offers about $6 million for special education, which will be used — in part — to hire an associate superintendent and provide additional funding to preschool classes.
Additionally, about $5 million is requested for mental health.
“We all know that the mental health of our students continues to be a key concern,” he said. “To address this, I am proud to propose 46 new counseling positions at the elementary, middle and high school level as well as more psychologists and social workers to support mental health work in our schools.”
Funding for the school system’s newest elementary school and the Western Transportation Bus Center are included in the proposal, as well.
The proposed spending plan and Walts’ remarks are available on the PWCS website.
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