Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) Superintendent Peter Noonan presented a $54.6 million Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) operating budget to the Falls Church School Board on January 14. The proposed budget is balanced, for the second year in a row falls within Falls Church City Council Budget Guidance, and provides a competitive wage increase for school employees.
“We are grateful for the support that our City Council, School Board, and community have provided for our new high school, and recognizing those efforts we have again developed a budget that allows us to address our most pressing needs and provide a competitive wage for employees while also meeting Budget Guidance from the City Council,” Dr. Noonan said. ”With increases in both local and state funding this year we are continuing the investment into our three goals: IB for All, Caring Community and Culture, and Closing Gaps.”
The proposed budget includes a step increase for eligible employees and a 1 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all staff members. Other proposed expenditures include projected increases in health insurance and the employer contribution rate for the state-mandated Virginia Retirement System.
In December, the City Council approved a Budget Guidance of 3.1% or a $1.3 million increase. The Governor’s Proposed Budget includes additional state aid impacted by re-benchmarking and increases in sales tax providing FCCPS with additional funding. “These increases will allow us to address some of our most pressing needs,” Dr. Noonan said. “But in any budget process, there are more requests than there is money available. Consequently, we weigh competing interests against the priorities and values of the school division and made hard decisions.”
The proposed budget includes an IB Middle Years Programme coordinator, thus providing full-time coordinators at both Mary Ellen Henderson Middle and George Mason High schools. Based on gap data, the budget adds a PreK-12 English/Language Arts coordinator to support teachers and students. One social worker will be added to support student’s emotional health and well-being. The clinic aid/office staff position at Jessie Thackrey Preschool will also increase to full time. The proposed budget also includes three new custodial positions needed to help maintain the additional square footage of the new high school opening at the end of this year.
“Improving support at all schools and expanding the contract lengths of those who support our schools’ efforts to close gaps are critical to achieving our mission,” Dr. Noonan said.
The proposed FY 21 budget is an overall 4.4 percent increase in the current FY2020 budget. It requests a City transfer increase of $1.3 million that is within City Council Budget Guidance of 3.1 percent.
There will be multiple opportunities for the community to weigh in before School Board adopts its Advertised Budget on February 18 and present it to the City Council on Monday, March 9.
FY 2021 Budget Development Calendar
January 21 - School Board Budget Work Session
February 3 - CIP Presentation to the Planning Commissions
February 11 - School Board Public Hearing and Budget Work Session
February 18 - School Board Budget Work Session and Adoption of FY 2021 Advertised Budget
March 9 - City Manager's Budget Presentation
March 17 - City Council Budget Work Session
March 23 - City Council's First Public Hearing of the Budget Ordinance
April 13 - City Council's Second Hearing of the Budget Ordinance
April 27 - City Council's Adoption of the Budget Ordinance ( including school transfer)
May 5 - School Board Public Hearing, Budget Work Session, and Adoption of the FY 2021 Budget