On Thursday evening the School Board voted to approve the Superintendent’s proposed budget, focused on ensuring the delivery of a new “ACPS Standard of Excellence” and ensuring timely school maintenance and repairs and an equitable distribution of resources across the city.
The requested $285.5 million Operating Budget — a 4.3 percent increase over last year — also aims to attract and keep good teachers and staff, while funding new textbooks that make a noticeable difference to student academic success.
City Manager Mark Jinks said on Tuesday that he believes the ACPS budget is fiscally responsible and focused on the right goals. He proposed that 67 percent of all new revenue from the city go towards funding education, which would help support the equitable distribution of resources across the city as a whole.
This budget provides funds to address our school maintenance and repair issues, ensure implementation of audit recommendations and increase compensation for staff so that ACPS can remain competitive with neighboring school jurisdictions. These are the right priorities for our school division at this time,” said School Board Chair Cindy Anderson.
The School Board approved additional positions in Specialized Instruction to address enrollment growth and recommendations made in the evaluation of services provided to students with disabilities. It also approved the addition of staffing to select elementary schools to better meet the needs of all students, including a Title I coordinator. The School Board also approved the purchase of new, state testing-aligned secondary math textbooks to ensure instruction is aligned with state standards.
Three new positions added to the Educational Facilities Department will help ensure a new “ACPS Standard of Excellence” regarding school facilities. The budget also adds funds for preventative maintenance to support the upkeep of schools.
In addition, the School Board approved a one percent market rate adjustment in addition to a full step increase in pay for staff. Eighty-eight percent of ACPS’ total Operating Budget funds staffing, making exemplary teachers and staff ACPS’ most valued asset. This will allow ACPS to be more competitive with school divisions across the D.C. metro area and continue to attract, recruit, grow and retain exemplary staff.
I am delighted that the City Manager sees the value of fully funding our schools. The allocation of educational resources definitely makes a difference in the equitable delivery of services and student success. Throughout this budget process, we have been aligned in overarching goals and I look forward to continuing that collaboration,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
The School Board will present both their Approved Operating Budget and Approved Capital Improvement Program Budget to City Council on March 6.
Watch the budget work session from Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
Watch the budget discussion at Thursday’s School Board meeting.