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Fairfax Proposal Would Jeopardize Teacher Pay Raises

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Fairfax County, Va., is facing a projected shortfall of approximately $50 million. The past couple of years have led Fairfax, like many other municipalities across the country, down a rocky financial road.

But this year, Griffin says, the county is starting to see things heading in the right direction.

"Every year we look for one word to describe the status of the budget, and this year the word is 'stable,'" Griffin says.

But Griffin's new budget proposal would leave county employees without pay increases for a third straight year.

The plan also calls for holding the property tax rate steady. That effectively would mean more than a $100 increase in taxes for the average Fairfax homeowner, since property values have risen.

Griffin's plan would also deny Fairfax County's school district the 3 percent increase in funding the school board is requesting. That could put pay raises for teachers and staff in jeopardy.

But the school board's president, Kathy Smithsaysthe, says the proposal is simply a starting point.

"This is the opportunity for the community to get involved in the budget process and hopefully change that and get them to support the schools a little bit more," she says.

The county will hold public hearings on the budget at the end of March.

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