A $1.14 billion dollar budget will fund the education of nearly 91,000 Prince William County Public Schools students in the upcoming 2017-18 school year, contingent on expected county funding.
School Board members approved the 2018 Advertised Budget at their March 15 meeting, cementing plans to maintain all existing programs and services, and give all employees a one-step compensation increase to help retain and recruit the best teachers and staff.
The budget also confirms School Board plans to adopt a design for the 13 PWCS high school that expands its capacity by 500 students. Special funding for the larger high school, near Jiffy Lube Live in Gainesville, and site acquisition or school construction projects on the county’s east side, was included in the budget as part of an agreement with the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS).
The Advertised PWCS budget also includes:
- Covering the costs of more than 2,400 students added since passage of the FY 2017 budget;
- Investing $8.4 million in classroom, school Divisionwide technology improvements;
- Added debt payments for school construction and improvements, including the new non-traditional school at Independent Hill;
- Opening the new Covington-Harper Elementary School at Potomac Shores;
- Expanding funding for the Graduation Summer Academy;
- Hiring a new teacher for autistic students;
- A $500,000 investment in professional development and Professional Learning Communities training for teachers; and
- Earmarks nearly $190,000 toward the future purchase of a badly needed human resources tracking system.
- Adding 6.5 school nurses positions;
- Adding four new administrative interns to help elementary schools close the student performance gap.
- Eliminating the lowest level of the current pay scale to boost starting pay for new teachers and classified employees, and
- Adding a new top step to the pay scale, so those at the top of their grade will benefit from the new step increase.
The Advertised Budget is based on revenue estimates provided by Prince William County, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the federal government. The BOCS has yet to determine 2018 county tax rate that funds approximately half the school budget.
The School Board will present its newly adopted Advertised Budget to the BOCS on March 28. Other BOCS meetings critical to school funding are scheduled for April 4, and April 11. BOCS meetings take place at the McCoart Building, and give community members the opportunity to comment on important issues.