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Fairfax School Board Saves Some Programs - But Cuts Close To 600 Jobs

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Fairfax's school board voted to cut close to 600 jobs, while saving some popular programs like freshman sports, and elementary foreign language classes.
Jonathan Wilson
Fairfax's school board voted to cut close to 600 jobs, while saving some popular programs like freshman sports, and elementary foreign language classes.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, Fairfax County's school board finally took a vote on the budget for the coming year after months of town hall meetings and public hearings.

But the vote settles little when it comes to the district's financial challenges.

The board decided to keep foreign language programs in elementary schools, freshman sports and indoor track, and hold average class size steady. But the budget still calls for close to six-hundred job cuts.

The changes mean the district will request more than $80 million from the county, much more than the $57 million originally proposed. And board chair Kathy Smith says even more programs will be in danger if county supervisors don't raise the tax rate by at least 10 or 11 cents.

"We are going to look at being funded again at the 2009 level for the third year in a row, while we have grown by thousands of students, and it will truly be devastating for Fairfax County Schools," says Smith.

County tax revenue provides about three-quarters of the districts budget.

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