More than 700 Fairfax County Public Schools teaching positions would be added next year under a plan 9 percent larger than last year’s budget to accommodate the teaching needs of an estimated increase of nearly 4,000 more students.
The increase, which amounts to $202.3 million more than in fiscal year 2012, includes a 2 percent market-scale adjustment for all employees, along with step increase for eligible employees. It also includes a salary adjustment for custodial positions, the only group of school employees whose compensation is not at market-level.
Though the last several budget cycles have brought teacher cuts, pay freezes and increased class sizes to Fairfax County Public Schools, Dale said this year’s plan returns some of what has been lost, including longer teacher contracts, the expansion of language programs and a small-scale version of summer school.
"The county is for the first time in several years projecting an increase in revenue so I think it is the beginning of a turnaround, but as they will say, it’s not a steep turnaround, it’s not a huge improvement, it’s not like it used to be,” Dale said.
Some county officials said on Friday that
"Boy, 8 percent sounds like quite a jump," Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova said Friday. "We need to be sensitive to the affordability of taxes to our residents. … An 8 percent increase seems like a stretch."
The county's transfer to the schools, funded largely by real estate and personal property taxes, accounts for nearly 71 percent of Dale's proposed budget; about 53 percent of the county's budget goes to the schools.
Bulova said the county's recovery is "very tepid," insufficient to meet all of the "pent-up demands" including more funding for human services, public safety and transportation.
County Executive Anthony Griffin won't release his budget proposal for the county, including a transfer amount, until Feb. 28. Supervisor John Foust, echoing what Dale told reporters earlier on Thursday, said Griffin has informally mentioned a 5 percent increase in the county's transfer.
Even a 5 percent increase is "kind of high," Foust said.
"Managing expectations is going to be a major challenge during this budget," Bulova said.
The school board will hold public hearings on the budget proposal Jan. 30 and 31.
Fairfax County police are searching for a man who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint Tuesday night as she walked to her car from the Dunn Loring Metro Station.
According to preliminary police reports, the woman was near the intersection of Cottage and Marymount Lane when a man approached her and held her at gunpoint before taking her purse and fleeing. Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said initial description of the suspect indicated he was a Hispanic male with brown hair, wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt.
Anyone who may have seen the suspect or noticed something suspicious in the area at that time should call the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.
South American law officials tell CNN they have caught the suspect in series of Fairfax County butt slashings.
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The following arrest information was supplied by the Vienna Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction.
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