School Board Approves Adjusted FY21 Budget

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

The Prince William County School Board voted 8-0 during an emergency meeting on May 20 to approve an FY21 Operating Fund Budget of $1,191,030,566.

During an emergency meeting held May 6, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Walts and John Wallingford, associate superintendent for finance and risk management, presented budget adjustments to the School Board’s Adopted Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. Due to the COVID-19 virus impacts, Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) addressed a nearly $47 million shortfall from the budget the School Board adopted in March.

Dr. Walts explained that the proposed adjustments have sought to prioritize support for all employees and students, and adjustments were developed after much deliberative thought, and not without difficult trade-offs.

“This is not a situation any of us would hope to have to face, but I believe we can do our best to minimize the impacts to the fullest extent possible,” he said. “I remain hopeful that should economic conditions improve, we will be able to restore the critical needs that may be deferred from this budget.”

The approved budget maintains a 2.8 percent step increase on average, in salaries for staff members, but unfortunately eliminated the 2 percent cost of living adjustment. The approved budget maintains 163.5 new school-based positions, but would defer 16 central support positions.

The approved budget also defers several cash-based facility projects, 11 new social workers, phase one of the pay equity compensation plan, tuition reimbursement increase, purchase of some (but not all) additional school buses, and middle school schedule restructuring.

During the May 20 Board meeting, members agreed to defer the hiring of an attorney and associated support staff, but added back 14 full-time special education teacher assistants and allocated $25,000 for a green school study.

More information on the proposed budget adjustments can be found on the PWCS website.

The Board also approved a resolution that would request the Prince William Board of County Supervisors transfer, budget and appropriate 57.23 percent of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) that has been awarded to Prince William County to Prince William County Schools. This amount is $23,484,282. A copy of the resolution can be found here.

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