Prince William County Schools face an unprecedented budget shortfall for the upcoming school year. In a growing county like Prince William, it is almost a given that each year the budget will grow, as the student body grows. Well, not next year.
Student enrollment is expected to increase by about 1400 students. However, the budget will be reduced by 7%. This huge reduction in spending amounts to about $57 million.
To make ends meet, teacher pay will be frozen and class size will increased. Elementary classes will be allowed up to 30 and middle and high school classes can go as high as 35 per class. Students will pay fees for the privilege of parking on campuses, playing sports, taking drivers’ education. Students will be expected to pay fees associated with advanced placement courses and also IB programs. ESOL and gifted classes will have fewer staff members. Overall, about 450 positions will be cut. Many of these positions will become open due to retirement but will not be filled.
All and all, things look very dismal for Prince William County Schools. Loudoun and Fairfax Counties have announced similar proposals. One thing is for sure. There won’t be many extras and those student material lists that are given out at the beginning of the year will be much longer. There is a new sheriff in town, and his name is NO MONEY.
It seems that that big dark screen plan didn’t work out so well. Readers will remember the theory that when all the ‘illegals’ left and there was no need for ESOL classes, we would save bundles of money and could apply it else where. I believe a surplus might have even been predicted. Well, time to pony up with that extra savings. The county sure does need it.
The Washington Post details the financial position of PWCS.
Here is the link to the Prince William County School Board Meeting . There are several lowlights towards the beginning. The ‘Other’ makes quite a display of himself. I wasn’t quite sure of his point. Apparently the board doesn’t like personal attacks on their staff.