By Steve Walts, Superintendent, Prince William County Public Schools
Earlier this year, I shared with our community my key budget priorities for the upcoming 2019-20 school year, and I am pleased to announce that those priorities were all fully funded. This is only possible due to the strong collaboration with our teachers, parents, and staff in developing the budget.
I also want to thank our School Board and the Board of County Supervisors for their unanimous support, and our local state representatives who helped advocate for, and pass, an increase in state funding for teacher pay. Through this collaboration, we are able to provide an average 4.8 percent increase for our teachers and employees, with no increase in employee health care costs.
Additionally, we were able to fund:
- Mental health and student wellness – the addition of 46 new counselors and a full-time nurse on site at every school;
- Special Education – additional support for the Division’s continuing focus on Special Education, including 15 new positions, $3 million for the Regional School, and funding to support students with special needs participating in before or after school care programs;
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) and High School Programming – nearly $1 million in funding for CTE and other high school curriculum support;
- Sustaining Class Size Reductions – sustained funding for class reductions, including $3.2 million for economically disadvantaged students across all schools, as well as funding debt service that enables PWCS to create more classrooms;
- Pre-K Education – $1.5 million in funding to support Pre-K education;
- Physical Education – funding for additional physical education teachers in at least six elementary schools;
- The Governor’s School – funding for 10 additional seats for PWCS students;
- Capital Improvements Program – funding to expand auxiliary gyms with multiple courts at Gar-Field and Woodbridge High Schools, additional field upgrades for Brentsville, Hylton, Gar-Field, and Osbourn Park High Schools, renovation of front office space at Osbourn Park and Stonewall Jackson High Schools, and moving the replacement of Occoquan Elementary School up from 2028 to 2025; and
- A pilot program offering community use of one high school track.
With this budget, the best in more than a decade, we can further advance Providing A World-Class Education by acknowledging the hard work of our teachers and staff, and funding critical supports for our students. With the continued partnership of our community, together we will ensure the success of every child in Prince William County.
Thank you for your support and please join me on twitter @SuperPWC