Employees of Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) could be looking at another raise.
A 2.8 percent raise and 1 percent Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) for eligible faculty and staff is one highlight of Superintendent Steve Walts’ proposed fiscal 2022 budget, which he shared with the county School Board last week.
“Nothing is possible without our outstanding employees – therefore, my second priority in this budget is support for our teachers and staff – who are at the heart of our success,” Walts said at the meeting.
Featuring an estimated $1.2 billion operating budget, the proposal has six main focuses.
In addition to compensating employees, Walts recommends providing them and students with “pandemic-related support”.
The third priority is educational equity and academic achievement. This would be accomplished by setting aside $4 million for the Regional Special Education Program, $2 million for summer school, and $1 million for textbooks.
Allocating $1 million to start establishing a virtual high school is included in Walts’ recommendations.
“As we have learned from the pandemic, virtual learning can be beneficial for some students, along with the flexibility that it can offer,” Walts explained. “This investment will help us build upon lessons learned and bring further choices to our students.”
The Superintendent also suggests adding five more pre-kindergarten classes that would amount to an additional $1 million for the preK program.
Supporting mental health and wellness among students by hiring 15 counselors, six psychologists and two nurses is another goal.
Updating older buildings, such as projects listed in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), is the sixth priority Walts mentioned.
Additional information on the fiscal 2022 budget is available on the PWCS website.
A public hearing about the proposed budget will be held by the School Board on February 17. The School Board plans to approve it in mid-March.
The Board of County Supervisors’ (BOCS) budget hearing is scheduled for April 6. It’s expected to give the OK on the budget in late April.
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