Those of us who subscribe to School board news via email got a good news email Wednesday night:

At the March 11 School Board work session on the proposed 2009-10 budget, Superintendent Steve Walts presented proposed revisions to the budget based on adjusted state revenue and the federal stimulus funds. The School Division will be receiving almost $25 million in additional revenues, with most coming from the stimulus and about $134,000 coming from the state.

Dr. Walts’ proposed expenditure adjustments include:

– Restoration of certain positions to avoid employee layoffs;

– A 2.9 percent COLA for all employees;

– Restoration of all regular education class sizes to current levels;

– Restoration of middle school athletics to the current program, but still with the participation fee; and

– Restoration of funding for IB/AP/ICT/ACE/PSAT test payments for all students.

Other recommended adjustments to balance the budget include a reduction from 5-percent to a 3-percent match for those participating in the matching 403 (b) deferred compensation program, and postponing the implementation of the middle school intramural sports program.

“We are feeling pretty good, in fact, quite a bit better than when we first proposed the budget,” said Dr. Walts, Superintendent. “We believe that this proposal will allow us to restore positions, avoiding employee layoffs.”

This is indeed very good news. Prince William County School Systen was about $57 million short for next year. Of course all school money is dependent on the final budget for Prince William County so that $57 million was very much of an estimate. The county schools will receive more than was originally announced. They were expecting about $19.1 million in additional funds from the stimulus money. As it turns out, the schools will receive about $6 million more than expected. $134,000 comes from the state. The rest is federal.

So is this additional money to also be considered a ‘drop in the bucket?’ Teachers get a 2.9% raise, class size is restored to current levels and restoration of certain positions sure sounds like a mighty good size drop to me.

I hope every last person with a kid in Prince William County Schools at least silently thanks Congressman Connolly for his part in procuring this money. I have a sneaking suspicion Supervisor Principi might have a hand in it also. Until I hear otherwise, I am going to say thank you to both gentlemen for making it happen. Corey Stewart needs to write another thank you note and follow it up with…silence?


Read more about the budget at the PWCS website.

47 Thoughts to “More Stimulus $$ from the Feds for PWC Schools”

  1. JustinT

    My God what an idiot Stewart is. I wonder if he would have opened his pie hole to say “let’s see what Connolly can do for Prince William County” if he’d known the stimulus plan included $25 MILLION for our schools. He just brought even more attention to Connolly coming through for us.


    Also, with Nohe and Stewart wrestling over how best to keep the tax rate from ballooning too high, they both should be thankful for this stimulus money. It makes it easier to keep the tax rate lower and not completely decimate our schools, just in time too. We also get money for police.

    So the two most important things are happening. That’s good. It’s like a tax cut but better.

  2. On the federal level we are getting both a tax cut and the stimulus money. I think we do need both to get out of this recession, and we cannot let education fall by the wayside. This is good news for everyone in Prince William County, even Corey Stewart … he’s accustomed to wearing egg on his face re. Connolly, and, this money will be crucial to maintaining something of that old “quality of life” he was always talking about a year ago while working feverishly to damage it.

    At the county level, we are getting a tax hike no matter how Corey tries to spin it. My house has dropped in value, but not a hundred grand (or whatever it was M-H calculated that it needed to be, $150,000?, for Corey’s “tax cut” subterfuge to be accurate). If my house HAD dropped a hundred grand, I wouldn’t be sending any thank you notes to county government OR to the federal government for the “tax cut.”

  3. Slowpoke Rodriguez


    Do you really think $13 extra/week is going to get us out of the recession? You really think stimulus $ is going to turn around the economy and not cause long-term damage? Dear God in Heaven you folks need a lesson in economics. Unbelievable.

  4. Looks like a “drop in the bucket” filled the empty bucket a bit, didn’t it, Corey?

  5. Moon-howler

    WHWN, I didn’t calculate the tax stuff. I think Alanna did., Maybe she will re-post it?

    Slow, I might not understand jack about the economics but I do know what suffers when 50 million dollars is cut from a school system. I am wondering about the cities? Are they getting any stimulus money?

  6. Casual Observer

    I think this is great for the schools, and I’m grateful for the money — however we got it! Thanks to the President, and everybody involved.

    I was very, very concerned about the proposal to charge HS students (read: parents) for IB, AP, Cambridge, and PSATs. To do so would have gutted those schools with specialty programs. Two of my children are in IB HS, and those IB exams cost several hundred dollars per child! And they aren’t optional: kids who take IB classes have to sign on the dotted line promising to take the corresponding IB exam for each IB course. I’m sure it’s the same with Cambridge. I don’t think it’s been mandatory for AP students to take the AP exam, but it probably will be for the new AP Academy that’s opening at Woodbridge HS next year.

    I can’t tell you what a relief this is.

    What say you now, Mr. Stewart? 🙂 Don’t you even think about cutting the tax rate further in light of the extra funding for the schools! They need every bit of revenue that the promised 51% can generate for next year’s budget.

  7. Alanna

    What tax stuff? What’s the $13 figure coming from?

    I get that we don’t spend our way out of a recession. South Carolina might refuse stimulus money. PWConservative recommends we take that approach.

  8. Bryanna

    My political intuition says Chairman Stewart is laying the ground work to take on Rep. Connolly in 2010. This is all part of his campaign strategy.

    The BOCS election cycle isn’t until 2011 so he can run without giving up his Chairman’s seat and if he fails, he will seek re-election for Chairman.

    What Prince William desperately needs right now is leadership with INTEGRITY and a passion to protect and represent the people and our quality of life.

    Limiting Citizen Time to one minute at the BOCS meeting really ruffled my feathers. Regardless of the BOCS by-laws, I believe it is a violation of our First Ammendment rights.

  9. Bryanna, limiting Citizen’s Time makes a mockery of democracy. It’s clear our BOCS Chair is anti-democracy; therefore, we might also call him “Anti-American.”

  10. Moon-howler

    I would say that PW Conservative lacks the overall experience and education to guide us out of a recession.

    Bryanna, I think you are right on the money again. I find it horribly offensive that people prepare to speak to the supervisors )Not everyone is comfortable with public speaking.) only to find out that they do not have the full 3 minutes. Stewart needs to stop doing that. If 3 minutes is advertised, then 3 minutes it is.

  11. I just read that the whole BOCS voted to limit Citizen’s Time.


    I’m quoting someone else, but that makes the whole BOARD anti-democracy.

  12. Elena

    there are many different opinions about how to get out of this serious recession so it does NOT turn into a depression. I am no economist, not even close. But I always read how WWII was the way we found ourselves out of the darkness of THE depression. Now, was it the WAR or was it the MONEY the federal government SPENT on the war? We hired soldiers to fight, we turned factories into arsenal making commodities and inspired a whole new economy. I would suggest that it WASN’T the war but the money the government infused into the economy. Does this sound like an off the wall theory?

  13. Elena

    I would call not Corey anti-american or the board anti-democracy. However, limiting our time to speak out in public is very concerning to me. Especially as citizens time can sometimes be our only avenue to get our message out in a public forum.

  14. Bryanna

    Actions speak louder than words. Elected officials are public servants that work for the people. It is their job to listen to their constituents and represent the position of the majority rather than their own.

    If our elected officials don’t care what constituents think than government becomes more powerful than it’s people.

    To quote George Washington (1787):

    “The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will be recalled.” (Ibid., 29:311.)

  15. gutterflower

    I don’t agree with the limit of thirty minutes for citizens. Unfortunately the limited time is at the Chairman’s discretion. Sometimes thirty minutes is all you get, and then another time thirteen hours of citizen comment was encouraged. Important reminder the Chairman did try to limit the time that day too, but that time limit got shot down, real fast. Afterall, he did send everyone an invitation in the mail to address the board. This is all a matter of convience for our Chairman.

    I agree, Elena. I would not say those things of the Chairman or the board either.

    3. Citizens’ Time – The Board shall set aside thirty (30) minutes as Citizens’ Time at the beginning of each Board session, and again at the beginning of each evening session. During Citizens’ Time the Board will receive comment from any citizen on any item not on the public hearing calendar for the day, without restriction, provided that the Chairman may prohibit or proscribe the use of obscenity or other speech tending to create a breach of the peace; and provided further that no individual citizen shall be permitted to address the Board for more than three (3) minutes, or the time designated by the Chairman. Individuals wishing to speak at Citizens’ Time shall sign up to speak by providing their name and address on a list provided for this purpose by the Clerk to the Board. Citizens residing in Prince William County shall be called to speak prior to citizens residing outside of the County. The Chairman shall allocate the aforesaid thirty (30) minutes among those speakers in an equitable manner.

  16. The Chair emailed everyone about coming in to discuss the budget, too. Or has the entire BOCS forgotten that?

  17. In the years to come, sending our children to school may become a luxury again.

    Tent cities are becoming more common in our country. I’m looking for a second job that pays in cash.

    Education is important of course, but there are much more pressing needs for this money. I think it would literally be better in the long run if this money was equally divided among the families of prince william county and they converted it to gold and established a bank that only worked with gold.

    Our government can print money out of thin air for only so long before they irretrievably destroy the purchasing power of the american dollar.

    At this time, money (in the form of credit and bad loans) is being destroyed much faster that the government is printing it so the inflation isn’t showing up yet. Eventually the destruction of money will bottom out and people/businesses will be able to borrow money again. But at that point we’ll have many more dollars in circulation than before this crisis. Inflation will follow. Perhaps very high inflation.

    If the PWC families had a PWC credit union where we had accounts in gold, our purchasing power would be protected from inflation.

  18. anona

    This is great news, but Principi and Stewart had nothing to do with this. This was through the state and the state determined how much would go to each jurisdiction.

    Stewart will be delighted about this money. Then no one can justify raising the tax rate based on the schools not getting money for kinder. aides, tests or class sizes.

    One of the problems with the revenue sharing is that to get the schools the extra money, they would have had to raise the taxes $1 to give schools 58 cents. The other 42 cents would have gone to the county. This ended up being the perfect solution as the schools get the money but it doesn’t come out of our local tax revenue pockets. No VA pays big in federal taxes so it might as well come home to Prince William.

    As far as limiting citizens time, those meetings can go so long and people were pretty much saying the same thing. I’m ok with a shortened time if the entire board agrees to it and if people are saying the same thing over and over. What is the difference between 10 kids spending 10 minutes saying please don’t cut 4H and 10 kids spending 30 minutes saying don’t cut 4H?

  19. Moon-howler

    I don’t believe the exact identity of money sources has been cited. Regardless on how it got here, I hope that Chairman Stewart is more appreciative than he indicated to the newspaper.

    I don’t know if Congressman Connolly had anything to do with PWCS getting the money or not. I am assuming he did but we know what happens when one assumes. I will make every effort to find out. I feel certain there are people out there that would rather give it back than give Congressman Connolly credit for bringing a penny into the county. I personally don’t care if it came from Gerry Connolly, President Obama or the tooth fairy, just so it is here.

  20. ShellyB

    I don’t know either M-H. But the irony of ironies was that Corey Stewart tried to make a big deal of it, saying in effect that we need a Congressman who brings home the pork. And Brynna, you are probably right he was trying to set up some sort of line of attack on Connolly.

    But then it backfired. Just like every other empty political ploy Corey Stewart has tried. For anyone who pays attention to any of this for more than one day in a row, Corey Stewart just looks like a lying jerk.

  21. ShellyB

    I do have to give Corey Stewart credit for one thing. His “we need more earmarks and more pork” approach to unfounded political attacks is creative. Most of the Republicans are doing the “we need less” thing. In fact, most everyone is saying that. But few are doing it.

    Anyway, I’m just glad it backfired. I’ve stopped being embarrassed for the county. Now I’m just embarrassed for Corey Stewart. But he deserves it so not that embarrassed.

  22. Conservador

    Moonhowler, “I would say that PW Conservative lacks the overall experience and education to guide us out of a recession.”
    You do not need to belittle PWConservative. I found your comment offensive. PWConservative as well you are entitled to an opinion.

  23. anona

    Although Connolly is perfectly nice, it isn’t him we should be thanking for the school money either. This was done by formula as indicated below.

    The $1.6 billion that has been allocated to Virginia so far is targeted at three main areas:

    K-12 Education Allocations — Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Virginia school systems will receive approximately $730.4 million in fiscal stabilization funds which will be distributed to Virginia school divisions by formula based on the federal law. The commonwealth is also receiving $281.4 million in funding for special education. Localities will also receive a total of $165.3 million for K-12 education through Title I. The U.S. Department of Education has provided preliminary tables estimating each locality’s share, and these tables are now available on the Governor’s Web site. More information about K-12 education funding from the Act can be found online.
    Public Safety Grants to Localities — The Bureau of Justice Assistance has released information for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program funding that was made available through the Recovery Act. Virginia and its localities will receive a total of $39.8 million to support local law enforcement in the commonwealth. The funding being distributed to localities will flow through the program’s standard allocation procedures. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system. More information about public safety funding from the Act can be found online.
    Transportation Infrastructure Funding — Virginia will receive a total of $694.5 million in highway funding, $118 million of which will be for projects selected by the state’s three urban metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Washington, D.C., Richmond and Hampton Roads. The remaining highway infrastructure investment funding may be used for federally qualifying surface transportation projects selected by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Approximately $116 million will be distributed to transit operators in Virginia. The Act also creates several discretionary grant programs that can help advance transportation projects such as innovative highway projects, intercity and high-speed rail projects, and new transit service expansions. More information about the highway funding from the Act can be found online.
    Since the launch of Stimulus.Virginia.Gov on February 10, more than 7,000 proposals have been submitted by citizens, localities and other groups. After the close of business today, suggestions will be sorted by the governor’s working group and sent to the appropriate secretariat for evaluation. Secretaries will ensure compliance with applicable federal rules and make recommendations to the governor for which projects to fund. Detailed information on those projects that are chosen will be made available on a Web site that is currently under development.

  24. ShellyB

    Conservador, I think what M-H was referring to the fact that PWConservative hasn’t started college yet. Not that Econ 101 would make that big of a difference in these days of “wow, We didn’t realize deregulation and the free-for-all market would fail America.” I think M-H was referring to his youth, not his not having a right to an opinion. There are plenty of people who go to college and still hold on to the beliefs they had as children.

  25. ShellyB

    Anona, thanks for the great information. I don’t think we are saying Connolly is solely responsible for the help we are getting from Uncle Sam. It’s just that Corey Stewart made a fool of himself a few days ago trying to blame Connolly for not getting enough help. Turns out, he was only looking at the tip of the ice berg at the time. So while we are all really glad to have the stimulus money coming our way, we are also laughing to ourselves at Corey Stewart’s addiction to political sucker punches, especially when he doesn’t know what he’s even talking about.

  26. Here’s an idea. If Stewart et al are only going to give you a minute, you get up there as a group and take turns for one minute. Then everyone will see on television how many people really ARE complaining. No one will be left out.

  27. TAndrews

    While it is heartening to see the schools receive the funding through the stimulus, and the avoidance of immediate layoffs and program reductions, for those who are uncomfortable with the stimulus package as a whole the fear is across the board sustainability. It is understandable and quite true that for those personally affected their fear is what happens tomorrow, while others fear what happens next year when the feds don’t come bearing another 25 million gift. Will we be able to sustain these programs and pay raises any better in 12 months than we could yesterday? Many fear the answer is no. That is why we need to immediately begin to address the factors that caused these shortfalls in the first place and prepare ourselves because Santa Claus isn’t coming back around this way again next March with another 25 large in the bag.

  28. TWINAD

    So I guess 3 minutes was okay if it was “his” guys up there spouting off for their 3 minutes. But since tables have turned and now more people are speaking up that are not in step with him, the time is going to be reduced? Nice, thinly veiled move, Mr. Stewart!

  29. A PW County Resident

    ShellyB :Conservador, I think what M-H was referring to the fact that PWConservative hasn’t started college yet. Not that Econ 101 would make that big of a difference in these days of “wow, We didn’t realize deregulation and the free-for-all market would fail America.” I think M-H was referring to his youth, not his not having a right to an opinion. There are plenty of people who go to college and still hold on to the beliefs they had as children.

    Sorry, Shelly, but I found her comment surprising too. We are all called on comments we make and maybe she knows how young or old everyone is but we don’t. Either she explains her context or she should takes the criticism and apologizes.

    Unless you feel that “blog controllers” don’t have to? Everyone wants to go after others without recognizing their own failings sometimes.

  30. Conservador

    ShellyB your saying that because he is young his comment is not valid. That is bull!!!. I know PWConservative and I tell you, you would love to have a friend like him.
    MH’s comment is condescending and you are not helping by excusing MH’s comment. We should encourage young people to get involved in civic matters rather than belittling them with put-downs the way MH did. People like PWC are the future leaders in our government and we should thank him for caring and not being apathetic like other kids. Young people PWC’s age can fight overseas defending our rights to speak and live freely. We should respect and encourage their right to participate in political dialogue.

  31. A PW County Resident

    “The Chairman shall allocate the aforesaid thirty (30) minutes among those speakers in an equitable manner.”

    So let me try to divide things right here. If there is 30 minutes available and there are 10 speakers then it is 3 minutes apiece? If there are 30, it may be 1 minute? But no one under any circumstances gets more than 3?

    There is plenty to criticize, but folks, come on. Lets try to limit our criticism to real issues??

  32. Moon-howler

    And Conservator, I find yours offensive since you seem to want to take issue with everything I say on here. If you want a high school student solving the economy, go for it.

    I did not say he couldn’t have an opinion. Go back and read what I said.

    I am as entitled to MY opinion also on here. Why does that seem to bother you so much?
    There will be no apologies. Do not hold your breath.

  33. Moon-howler

    A PW Resident, I am not a blog controller and I rarely ‘go after people.’ In fact, Most people would probably accuse me of defending too many people. There are a few exceptions. Go back and read what I said. And no, I don’t know everyone’s age. I know how old PW Conservative is because he said how old he was on this blog.

    Let’s face it, isn’t the real root of the problem I am not a conservative Republican? I have a few suggestions as to where you can find some of those. Don’t even imagine I am going to apologize. I am as entitled to my opinion as the next guy.

  34. Conservador

    Because, you criticize people that are biased against Latinos and you are doing the same by being unkind to PWC; this site is only propaganda for your agenda. Now you are twisting the issue and saying “If you want a high school student solving the economy, go for it.” You have criticized people when they change the subject like you are doing now. Keep going with your agenda and lose credibility with your own writing. Hypocrisy is what bothers me. You do not have basis to defend your writing, so your solution is to attack me now. Classic!!!
    You post an article and if I disagree with you I will tell you, the same way that I will tell my fellow Conservatives when I disagree with them. I am an American and I have the right to say what I want. If you don’t like criticism, don’t post anything or don’t let people that you don’t like respond to your post.

  35. A PW County Resident

    Yep, you do have a right to your opinion and I am not a republican either. I just believe in fair discussions from both sides–please identify when I haven’t talked about being fair in the discussion. So when I see a comment like “I would say that PW Conservative lacks the overall experience and education to guide us out of a recession.”, I am a bit surprised. I am sorry that my talking about something like fairness offends you somehow.

    Frankly, all I said was that I was surprised. Read mine too before you get a little ——. My comment about blog controller is that not all of us can start a thread can we? Not that I want to.

    And don’t worry, I won’t imagine that you will apologize. I have better things to imagine frankly.

  36. Conservador

    Because, you criticize people that are biased against Latinos and you are doing the same by being unkind to PWC; this site is only propaganda for your agenda. Now you are twisting the issue and saying “If you want a high school student solving the economy, go for it.” You have criticized people when they change the subject like you are doing now. Keep going with your agenda and lose credibility with your own writing. Hypocrisy is what bothers me. You do not have basis to defend your writing, so your solution is to attack me now. Classic!!!
    You post an article and if I disagree with you I will tell you, the same way that I will tell my fellow Conservatives when I disagree with them. I am an American and I have the right to say what I want. If you don’t like criticism, don’t post anything or don’t let people that you don’t like respond to your post.

  37. Elena

    Did anyone see the CPAP convention? Did you watch the pre-pubescent child giving a speech on the ideals of conservatism? Now, I think on some level it is good for kids to care about their community, but personally, there is nothing like life experiences, especially tough ones, to ground someone in more than just econ 101. Now, I love that someone as young as PW Conservative has taken the initiative to be interested in the world around them. However, the reality is that as much as I would not dare to suggest I am capable of understanding the complex market I would also not look to a teenager to understand the complexities either. Even the most knowledgable economists are at crossroads understanding how we can get out of this mess. I am sure Moon Howler was not intentionally demeaning PWConservative. As a matter of fact, I recall her complimenting him on his interest in poliitcs when he first appeared.

  38. Elena

    Hi Conservador, I’m not sure what “agenda” you mean. M-H works very hard on posting uptodate threads. I think that trying to communicate only by writing, i.e. a blog, is often times the perfect place for misunderstandings.@Conservador

  39. A PW County Resident

    And, Elena, she could have just said that “I did not mean to demean him/her.” But instead, she went after some of us for saying something.

    So I am not inclined to just accept it.

  40. Moon-howler

    TAndrews, I think everyone feels uneasy about the economy. I certainly have no answers. People will continue to argue over this topic probably forever. They are still arguing over the Great Depression.

    The flip side is that many great things came out of the Depression also. Hoover Dam, the TVA that brought electricity to so much of rural America, great expansion in the National Parks (like the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway) and my favorite road, the Merrit Parkway in Connecticut pop up in my mind.

    No, Santa might not be around this time next year. However, the economy might also have improved a great deal. I am all for taking what we are offered now. All government needs to get rid of the attitude/policy of ‘use it or lose it.’ Not being able to carry over money into the next fiscal year encourages waste and does not allow for thrift.

  41. anona

    Great website to track what is going on with the stimulus in Virginia put together by Governor Kaine:

  42. Moon-howler

    Thank you anona for providing all the information on what comes from where and for the links.

  43. Bryanna

    Back in early 2007, the Prince William Committee of 100 hosted a program called Revenue Sharing with Schools: Better than Annual Competition for Scarce Dollars?

    The panelists were Gerry Connolly, Corey Stewart and a school board representative from each county. I expected Chairman Stewart to take a position against revenue sharing; instead, it was Connolly who did.

    He said that PWC better prepare for future cuts in state funding because rising household income would likely lower state contributions.

    Speaking as the Fairfax County Chairman at the time, he suggested that Prince William’s growing pains also happened in Fairfax years earlier and he was speaking from experience.

    He provided an excellent analogy using a child’s allowance. First you determine how much money the child needs. Lets say you both agree on $20. a week, and after 6 months, you get a raise so you increase it to $30. a week, it’s unlikely the child is going to save the extra $10., instead he/she is likely to want rather than need extra stuff. Then one day the child is told he can only have $20., because of other household responsibilities. Now the child finds himself $10 short rather than $10 ahead.

    Fortunately there is Stimulus money to supplement this budget shortfall but I hope someone on the School Board will be forward thinking and consider NOW how the schools will manage to get by in the future.

  44. Moon-howler

    Unfortunately, PWCS are always growing. Each year there are more and more kids. This is going to be a big problem when there is less and less tax revenue. Something has to give. Teachers need raises and you can’t pack 40 kids in a classroom and maintain state standards. Buses need maintenence and replacement. Special ed costs continue to soar, especially having to meet standards for the state and No Child Left Behind.

    I am not sure where they are going to find ways to save. I hope there is a plan B in the event the economy doesn’t do a 180 between now and next March.

  45. TAndrews

    Would it have not been a smart thing to do to investigate the possibility of taking 10 million of this free money and purchasing future delivery contracts on diesel for the school bus fleet? At that kind of volume we probably could have received a heck of a discount and been set on fuel for a while. That would help relive some of the pressure on the budget in coming years.

  46. Moon-howler

    TAndrews, Write the superindendent and school board and suggest your plan. Maybe they didn’t think of it.

  47. Tara Laskowski

    Hi! Stumbled across this post today…for what it’s worth I wanted to let you know about a partnership between George Mason University and PW schools that will provide cool field trips for students free of charge through a grant from NOAA. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: We’re excited about it!

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