WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Fairfax School Board Faces Tough Decisions On Budget Cuts

School leaders in Fairfax County are trying to figure out how to balance the books next year, but the choices are divisive.

Should class sizes be cut? Should employees be laid off? These are some of the difficult decisions before members of the Fairfax County School Board, who are meeting today in Merrifield to review a list of menu items that could be on the chopping block. Balancing the books could mean classroom staff reductions or furloughs or maybe even eliminating a foreign language instruction program.

"I have people ask me all the time will there be cuts?" says Superintendent Karen Garza. "I think that question was already answered for us, that we have a $140.7 million shortfall that we need to address."

Garza, who joined the school system over the summer, is presenting a list of about 50 potential cuts. Not recommendations, she's quick to add, just items for consideration. The list includes the potential elimination of 1,700 staff positions and a new fee for student athletics.

"We need more money from the state, we need more money from the county," says School Board member Dan Storck, who represents the Mount Vernon District.

Asked whether that would mean higher taxes, Storck says that is the Board of Supervisors' responsibility.

"If we had the ability to do that on the school board, I would be happy to make those decisions and present it to the public," Storck says.

School Board members are at the beginning of the process for creating a budget, which will be formally presented early next year.

NPR

Book Review: 'Kinder Than Solitude'

Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.
NPR

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.
WAMU 88.5

To Replace Rep. Jim Moran, Virginia Democrats Raking In Big Bucks

The race has opened the door to an epic primary season that had 13 Democrats formally announcing their candidacy.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.