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Schools Superintendent Presents $617 Million Budget

Scott McCaffrey of the Arlington Sun Gazette reported today on the Superintendent's proposed FY 2018 budget for the Arlington Public Schools (APS), writing:

"Per-student spending for Arlington’s public schools would rise 2.9 percent to $19,521 under Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget, which – accompanied by a $14 million gap between revenues and expenses – was delivered to School Board members Feb. 23. (emphasis added)

"Murphy is seeking $617 million to fund the school system for the 2017-18 school year, which would permit the school district to “move forward with the excellence that we have here,” the superintendent said.

"The catch: Murphy’s proposed budget includes only $603 million in revenues. The county government provides about 80 percent of school-system funding, with the state government kicking in about 12 percent. Federal funding and fees make up most of the rest.

"In case the budget gap can’t be bridged with additional funding, the superintendent outlined just over $12 million in potential cuts spread over three tiers."

He adds:

"Murphy’s budget proposal tiptoes up to, but does not cross, the previous all-time-high per-student cost, set before the recession during the tenure of his predecessor, Robert Smith. But the proposed increase likely means Arlington will retain the highest per-student costs in the Washington suburbs."

The APS press release, issued after the Superintendent presented his proposed budget last Thursday, includes the possible strategies for closing the $14 million funding gap. For example, reducing assigned cell phones, eliminating the so-called "Live Where You Work" program, and postponing salary step increases.

The press release links to a proposed FY 2018 budget webpage that includes links to the Superintendent's FY 2018 proposed budget presentation, the budget document, and a FY 2018 budget video. You can also access the Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE) guides which you can use to compare school districts in the Washington area.

A useful tool at the budget webpage allows you to access budget questions raised by the School Board, the County Board, the APS's Budget Advisory Council budget questions, and the school union's budget questions.

The Arlington School Board currently has four budget work sessions scheduled: February 23, February 28, March 14, and March 21.

Growls readers with questions or comments about the Superintendent's proposed FY 2018 budget can direct them to the Arlington School Board. Just click-on the link below:

  • Call the School Board office at (703) 228-6015

And tell them ACTA sent you.

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