Downs New School Chair as Noonan introduces new budget

Falls Church City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan presented his proposed budget for the upcoming school year to the school board Monday night. (Photo: News-Press)

At the Falls Church School Board’s first meeting of the new year, and held for the first time in person in the new council chambers at City Hall since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic nearly two years, the board unanimously elected a new president and a new vice-president. , Laura Downs and Tate Gould, and presented the proposed budget for the new budget year by the superintendent, Dr Peter Noonan.

The draft budget for the 2022-2023 school year which will finally be adopted next May, will represent, if adopted, the fourth in a row which finances all the critical functions of the school system while remaining within the “orientations”. as presented by City Council last month, according to Noonan.

“The past 18 months have been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing effects. These effects have placed significant demands on schools, teachers, students, parents and the wider community,” Noonan said. “Falls Church Public Schools staff have worked diligently to develop a budget that reflects the priorities of our school system, meets our collective current and future needs, and is ultimately aligned with our mission, vision, values ​​and goals. . being developed in our new strategic plan.

Key elements of the proposed new budget include a phased increase for eligible employees, a clawback stage from fiscal year 2021 for eligible employees, a 2% cost of living increase for all employees, the addition new career and technical teaching positions, new math and science teacher positions, a new school nurse and psychologist, and a “secondary campus parent liaison”.

Noonan explained in an introduction to his proposed budget: “In December, City Council approved budget directions that reflect the city’s organic revenue growth, which is expected to be 6.3%, an increase of 2,275 $000. This year, the Governor’s Proposed Budget funding increases include an increase in sales tax revenue of $422,953 and an increase in state funding of $527,619.

“These increases in local and state funding will allow us to meet our most pressing needs, which are employee compensation, working conditions, and immediate and long-term school investments to support students and staff. We must do all we can to support teachers, staff and students by addressing the impact of the past two years on teacher recruitment, retention and the social, emotional, mental health and academic needs.

Key elements of its proposed budget include a phased increase for eligible employees, a clawback stage starting in fiscal year 2021 for eligible employees, a 2% cost-of-living increase for all employees, and a share of the employer of the planned increases in health insurance premiums by 10%.

Other additions include a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) program coordinator for secondary school teachers, contract extensions for CTE teachers, a new math teacher to provide instructional support to students, intervention positions full-time augmented math, middle school math/science teacher. , a Parent Liaison Officer on the secondary campus, permanent substitute teachers for each school, playground supervision to relieve teachers, professional development for all staff, reading, math and school stipends. summer teacher, an additional school nurse, a school psychologist, a system engineer and technical educator.

There will also be inflationary adjustments, preschool registrar and clinical support alignments, property insurance, school security contract, funding for technology equipment and services, tuition resources for students attending the Thomas Jefferson High School for science and technology and vehicle maintenance support.

Budget reductions, to the extent possible, include adjusting the salary base for current employees to reflect revenue in the 2022 school year and projecting revenue in fiscal year 2023, savings on other benefits, including the discontinued transitional retirement program, other post-employment benefits and the city. the retirement rate decreases.
Noonan said, “The school system is grateful for the support of the city council, school board and community in preparing this budget. For the fourth year, the FCCPS has developed a budget that funds the most urgent and critical needs, while respecting the budgetary orientations of the municipal council. »

In the coming period, the school board should take the budget proposed by the superintendent and adjust it if necessary to adopt it by February 22, and submit it to the city manager of the FC for attachment. to its proposed citywide budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. which should be adopted at the end of April.

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