The Prince William County School Board has approved their $1.09 billion operating budget and spending plan proposal for the next year – but now it’s up to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to approve a county budget that allows for that plan to become reality.
According to a Prince William County Schools (PWCS) release, the plan would call for a 4.6% increase in spending from this past year to accommodate the 88,000 children, 1,000 additional incoming students, and 10,500 teachers and staff in the school system.
Within the school board’s proposed operating budget, there are plans to add 150 teaching and instructional positions, in an attempt to cut class sizes for grades 8, 10, 11, and 12, according to a release.
More budget highlights, from a release:
Increased staffing to support English language learners;
A one-step pay-plan increase averaging 2.8% for all employees;
Enhanced funding for special education services;
An additional $1 million in investments to improve services at schools with high proportions of economically disadvantaged students;
Restoring some previously lost resources to gifted education programs;
Enabling anticipated expansion of pre-kindergarten offerings and classrooms, including transportation;
Making overdue technology improvements;
Enhanced funding for access/compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act; and
Continued investments in new schools, school additions, renovations, maintenance, and support services
Per county budget procedure, the school board will offer their budget plan to the board of supervisors, who will either choose to fund the plan, or ask for modifications. In order for the school plan to be fully funded, the board would have to adopt the proposed 3.88% tax increase outlined in the five year county Comprehensive Plan, or make cuts elsewhere.
On April 5 the school board will present their budget proposal to the board of supervisors, stated a release. The board of supervisors must approve a final budget for the school system by May 15, according to a release.
There is still considerable debate on if the board of supervisors will adopt that 3.88% increase, that would allow for full funding of the school board’s plan.