LCPS Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 Includes Salary Increase for Employees, Funding for Languages, Literacy | News

Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler presented the school division’s proposed budget totaling more than $ 1.5 billion for fiscal year 2023, which includes an average 5% salary increase for employees , among other initiatives, at a special school board meeting on Wednesday.

“When we look at the $ 88 million that we’re looking to increase the budget for, you can see that the vast majority – 86.9%, or $ 76.9 million – goes to salaries and benefits,” Ziegler said. to the board of directors. members at the meeting. The proposed budget reflects an increase of almost 6% over the operating budget of SPC for the current fiscal year.

The increase in compensation, he said, “would allow Loudoun County to continue to be an employer of choice in the northern Virginia region.”

Funding for ESL teachers, literacy program

Ziegler highlighted the inclusion in the proposed budget of funds for 32 full-time staff as English teachers for students who are not native speakers to improve LCSP staffing standards in this area. If passed, the budget would lay “the foundation for improving programs across the division,” he said.

School officials touted an elementary world languages ​​start-up, an International Baccalaureate start-up, improvements in student mental health support, 32 new full-time instructors for students learning the English, an increase in stipends for the performing arts in middle and high schools, as well as improvements to the LCPS early literacy program as key programs that would strengthen the experience of students in the division in a statement posted Wednesday evening shortly before the end of the meeting.

Centralized collection of sports fees, reduction of posts based on registrations

Sports and parking fees for students would be eliminated in the 2022-2023 school year under the proposed budget, Ziegler said. “We are making a change in the process by which we collect fees for sporting events, including admissions and other income” which would instead see them collected centrally rather than by individual high schools and distributed to schools based on their enrollment. .

Administrators said in the press release that the proposed budget for the next fiscal year foresees a 3.3% drop in student enrollments compared to the projections in the current 2022 budget, resulting in a reduction in the number of posts needed, which is driven by registrations.

Ziegler said the proposed budget includes a $ 35.6 million reduction in funding for enrollment-based positions due to declining student enrollments. However, other areas of the proposed budget are expected to get funding, such as the $ 35.5 million for improved student learning.

In addition to the increased investment in student programs, school administrators highlighted the school division’s need to attract and retain employees, urging them to include the 5% average salary increase for CPS employees. , increases in the cost of living, as well as adjustments to the remuneration of teachers of the scales which would compensate for a salary deficit between the remuneration of LCPS instructors in mid-career and the regional market average.

“One of the areas where we know we need to do better is with our environment [career] teachers, where they fall far short of the market when it comes to pay, ”Ziegler said. “And so, this budget includes $ 21.7 million to adjust the salary scale for teachers, which… does a substantial job of reducing the sag.”

School officials also noted the proposed budget funding for student and staff support services in Wednesday night’s statement – including one computer per student for all kindergartens – as well as investments in software and hardware for students and staff; safety and security communications; assistance to the full-time school board and the Loudoun Education Foundation.

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