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2-25 Arlington Superintendent Presents Proposed Budget


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For Immediate Release:
Feb. 25, 2016
For more information, contact the Dept. of School and Community Relations at 703-228-6004 www.apsva.us
 Arlington Superintendent Presents Proposed Budget For 2016-17 School Year
FY 2017 Budget Highlights
  • Funds instructional and administrative support to address growing enrollment
  • Provides a compensation increase to recruit and retain high quality staff
  • Allocates resources to launch the new Arlington Tech* program at the Career Center
  • Includes a $1.9 million deficit; increased revenue or reduced expenditures still needed
Today, Arlington Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy presented his proposal for the FY 2017 Arlington Public Schools (APS) budget to fund operations for the 2016-17 school year. The FY 2017 budget totals $579.4 million, which is a 3.9 percent increase over last year’s adopted budget.

This year’s budget process began with a projected deficit that ranged from $12 to $15 million, due to rising enrollment growth that continues to outpace increased resources. During budget development, APS updated forecasts, identified efficiencies to reduce costs, used one-time funding strategically to reduce the budget gap to $1.9 million, and worked closely with County staff. The budget will need to be balanced through additional revenue or service reductions.

“We are very fortunate to live in a community that is committed to providing students with an exceptional public education,” Murphy said. He continued, “As enrollment continues to rise significantly, we want to maintain the assets that have made us an outstanding school division, including dedicated and highly-qualified teachers with small class sizes, healthy and safe spaces that nurture student learning; addressing the individual needs of the whole child; and providing multiple pathways for students to achieve success.”

School Board Budget Direction
Last fall, the School Board provided clear direction on what should be included in this budget. The School Board’s priorities included a compensation increase for employees; funding to launch the first year of Arlington Tech at the Career Center; and sufficient resources to staff the needs of the school division that is expected to exceed 30,000 students by 2021. This budget reflects the School Board’s direction.

Components of FY17 Budget
The budget totals $579.4 million, which currently includes a $1.9 million deficit. The primary cost drivers of this year’s budget are:
  • $10.8 million for student enrollment growth (1,135 new students projected for next year which is a 4.5% growth in enrollment);
  • $9.6 million for a step increase for eligible staff. This amount includes an additional $2.0 million for one-time payments to employees who will not receive a compensation increase based on where they are at on the salary scale and an ongoing salary increase for hourly staff;
  • $4.4 million for instructional and student support initiatives;
  • $3.0 million to begin rebuilding APS support infrastructure that was lost due to budget cuts during the economic downtown, resulting in the elimination of 117.1 staff positions and $29.5 million in spending cuts for central departments;
  • $0.75 million to provide for staff, equipment and materials to launch the first year of the new Arlington Tech* program at the Career Center.
The areas include student instruction and support; staff compensation; professional development; safety and security; and central support systems for our growing school division. The budget ensures that APS is able to meet the needs of a growing student body and continues to excel with its strong record of student achievement.

“While APS continues to grow, we value the supportive environment that we have developed as a smaller school division,” Murphy stated in his presentation to the School Board. “Our students appreciate the strong connections they share with each other, their teachers, and school staff. This year’s proposed budget will commit our resources toward preserving the qualities that make APS an exceptional and high performing school division.”

Community Feedback
Using the School Board’s Budget Direction as the foundation for the proposed budget, public input was incorporated to develop a proposed budget that reflects community priorities. APS implemented an extensive community engagement process to identify efficiencies and allocate resources strategically. The proposed FY17 budget reflects the input received and directs spending where investments are needed most.

FY 2017 Budget Documents
All materials related to the FY 2017 Budget, including the FY 2017 budget calendar, the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget and Feb. 25 presentation, and the School Board’s budget priorities are available online.

*Arlington Tech is a new full-day program at the Career Center that will be centered on project-based learning in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes that focus on environmental, ecological and engineering topics. Students can become certified in a variety of CTE programs, which will allow them to enter into a range of professional careers upon exiting high school. In addition, the program will allow students to earn college credits through dual-enrolled academic and STEM related courses in Engineering and IT/Digital Media. The initial cohort for the 2016-17 school year will be 40 students.