The Falls Church School Board unanimously voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2024 budget on Tuesday night, complying with the City Council's revised guidance of 5.3% organic revenue growth. The approved budget shows an increase of $2,476,749 in local funding, representing 80.4% of the total budget. With the addition of expected state and federal revenue, the total budget for FY 2024 is a 6.0% increase from the FY 2023 Approved Budget.
This is the fifth consecutive year the School Board has met City Council guidance, showcasing the district's financial responsibility and commitment to providing quality education. "The School Board is pleased with the FY24 budget as it aligns with our strategic plan,” said Board Chair Laura Downs. “It also includes pay scales that reflect data from our recently conducted salary study and standardization of our extra pay for extra duty pay rates. We remain committed to competitive benefits, salaries, and hourly wages to recruit and retain the best talent and experience in the Northern Virginia region."
One of the significant actions taken in the FCCPS Strategic Plan, 'Investing in Our People,' is to ensure the district offers market-competitive compensation and the best working conditions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In April, the School Board received the results of a compensation study conducted with Segal. The study indicated that the cost to bring all employees to the new salary structures is approximately $2.1M (or 6.0% of payroll) and can be completed in the coming Fiscal Year. Competitive salaries are essential to retain and recruit employees who maintain an exceptional school system.
Moreover, the approved budget includes benefits that will significantly impact staff. These include:
six weeks of paid parental leave for employees with a new child,
an increased payout of sick leave upon separation from FCCPS from ~$3/hr to ~$16/hr,
providing the same employer-paid health benefits that full-time employees receive for permanent employees who work less than full-time,
continuing significant investments to support teaching and learning through one-time and pandemic funding, and
instructional materials for the Meridian High School Sustainability Academy.
“I would like to thank Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan, our Chief Operating Officer, Kristen Michael, and our Director of Finance, Mechelle Coppock, for their countless hours dedicated to this thoughtful budget,” Ms. Downs said. “I would also like to acknowledge the City Council, the Falls Church City General Government staff, and City Manager Wyatt Shields and thank them for their support of our schools and commitment to our revenue-sharing agreement.”
The School Board conducted three budget work sessions and three public hearings before the final vote on the budget. The Approved FY 2024 Budget exemplifies the School Board's dedication to investing in its staff and supporting student learning. The Falls Church community can learn more about the budget on the FCCPS website — www.fccps.org/budget.