School Board Eyes Budget Additions in Final Talks

The School Board held a brief budget work session Thursday night that, despite getting less local tax funding than they requested from the Board of Supervisors, focused on what elements to add to their Fiscal Year 2022 spending plan. 

Although supervisors cut the School Board’s local funding request by $28.6 million, the funding gap was largely erased by an $8.7 million increase in state funding and a determination by the state Department of Education that cleared the way for $7.7 million in federal emergency aid to pay for expanded summer school offerings, and a staff proposal to use $4.5 million in planned one-time purchases using the year-end surplus. The staff has proposed dropping the $1.9 million earmark to begin a collective bargaining program and to not hire six non-mandated health clinic specialists to bring the budget back into balance. 

The School Board work session mainly focused on two new proposals floated by members. 

Denise Corbo (At Large) has suggested hiring teacher assistants to help in first-grade classes, which are expected to face extra challenges with “redshirted” kindergarteners, many of whom will enter the year without classroom experience because of the pivot to virtual learning last year. 

Some members raised concerns over whether that $3 million initiative would be the best use of the division’s COVID response contingence funds and whether it would be feasible to hire 150 to 175 qualified assistants for temporary, one-year positions.

Corbo said the suggestion had been made by front-line teachers.

The board also discussed where best to invest in fee reductions for students. 

The Board of Supervisors voted to allocate money needed to eliminate athletic fees, but lack line-item control over school division spending. 

School Board members instead focused on the possibility of making AP tests more affordable, either by eliminating the fees or offered some number of tests at no charge. 

Advocates of that option said it could have the most educational impact, potentially saving families tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees if the students qualify for college credits. 

Members also showed interest in exploring the options of cutting athletic fees or on-campus parking fees.

The School Board plans to adopt it budget reconciliation measures at its April 27 meeting, what an April 23 deadline set for members to propose their changes. 

6 thoughts on “School Board Eyes Budget Additions in Final Talks

  • 2021-04-16 at 3:42 pm

    This reminds me of a scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, where John Candy’s character has made a dreadful error while driving.
    Concerned motorists shout “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY.”

    In this bit of Loudoun tragic comedy, the school board… well, they’re playing the Candy role.

    This SB can’t do anything right. The children, parents and taxpayers deserve better.

  • 2021-04-16 at 5:11 pm

    The last poster stated that the SB can’t do anything right.

    I would suggest that they are acting exactly as they desire which is contrary to what Loudoun parents want or expect. School Board members have no regard for the people they actually represent.

    Six of the SB members are members of a FB group that created an Enemies List. This is a list of concerned parents trying to hold LCPS accountable.

    The lunacy continues in Loudoun…..

  • 2021-04-17 at 11:42 pm

    So let’s get this straight. The SB is getting ~8% more funding ($100M+) for a 0.1% enrollment increase.

    Do schools exist to effectively educate students? If so, both athletic fees and AP fees (at a mere few $100K each) would be eliminated. Taxpayers fund schools for students, right?

    But according to this SB, schools exist to give out cushy, exorbitantly paid jobs to their adult teacher friends. Despite teachers receiving 30%+ raises over the last 4 years, the SB is spending $60M+ to give them 7% raises again in the middle of a pandemic. But rather than taking less than 2% of that largess to eliminate student fees, the SB demands that overpaid, underworked teachers get every last penny in their pockets ($4000+ raises just this year when most went without). How corrupt can this SB get?

  • 2021-04-25 at 9:46 am

    Hiring 150-175 for 1 year is the biggest con game going. They will be hired and 15 years from now the positions will still be there.

  • 2021-04-25 at 12:58 pm

    You may not always like SGP but he sure can drill down to the brass tacts.

  • 2021-04-27 at 7:20 am

    800k was added to the budget to eliminate athletic fees, the school board used the money for their own purposes not stated when the BoS approved the money.

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