Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Full funding for implementation of mandated Standards of Quality, increased funding for teacher salary increases, funding to reduce class size, and exploring alternative assessments to standardized tests are among the Prince William County School Board’s priorities for the 2018 session of the General Assembly.
Chairman Ryan Sawyers presented the priorities at a Nov. 20 breakfast meeting. Delegates-elect, senators, School Board members, and staff discussed specific issues during and following Sawyers’s presentation.
Sawyers noted the achievements of the School Division at a time of continued growth and per-student funding that remains far below neighboring school divisions. The 2017 on-time graduation rate for PWCS was 91.8%, nearly half of PWCS graduates earn advanced studies diplomas, and all 11 PWCS high schools are in the top 10 percent nationwide.
The top priorities for the School Board include a request for legislation that would allow computer coding courses to satisfy the foreign and world language credit requirements needed for an advanced studies diploma.
“Coding is a vital language for our future that opens the door to an estimated 1.4 million jobs currently in our national economy,” Sawyers said.
The School Board also asks for increased funding to meet the recommended level of one nurse for every 550 students and additional funding for instructional technology coaches and technology specialists.
“We also need to allow for boosting the number of mental health professionals who help our students overcome major obstacles. To properly support them, we favor measures that would provide adequate funding to raise the number of counselors, psychologists, and social workers,” said Sawyers.