Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Stafford school budget Q&A

I received a question from a reader about my last post on the Stafford schools’ budget. He wanted to know about the fact that two-thirds of school employees are teachers, which means that one-third are not. Also, Supervisor Cord Sterling had some questions about the school budgets, and those answers just went out in an email. So I thought I’d combine these into a Q & A post. If you have any questions, comment below or email them to

Q: What are all these non-teaching positions in the schools?

A: There are actually many people who go into supporting a student. Besides teachers, you have social workers, guidance counselors, technology instructors, psychologists, receptionists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, administrative assistants, nurses and more.

And here is the Q&A from Sterling:

Q: The average operating expenditure per pupil vs our peers, and state average

A: The fiscal year 2010 stats are the most recent information from the state (see the chart below).

The fiscal year 2011 information should be out before the end of March.

Fiscal Year Division Name Total Per Pupil State Rank

2010 Stafford $ 9,399 108

2010 Spotsylvania $ 9,624 100

2010 Prince William $ 10,298 67

2010 Fredericksburg $ 12,456 16

2010 Fauquier $ 11,255 33

2010 King George $ 8,324 132

2010 State – 132 Divisions $ 11,020 N/A

Q: What is required to take  ”Level 0″ teachers to a competitive pay level?

A: $3,279,124. The Compensation Task Force determined that to be competitive with the neighboring

districts the teachers salary levels would need to be halfway between Spotsylvania County’s and Prince

William’s County’s salary levels. The 0 step would need to be $40,786. To accomplish this, steps 0 through 5

would have to be compressed to one level which involves 533.7 full-time equivalent positions resulting in the

total cost of $3,279,124 including fixed benefits.

Q: Cost to replace all classroom computers that are currently 5 years in age or more, 3 years in

age or more

A: The total cost for annual cyclic replacement of 5-year-old computers is $2,085,000. The initial cost

to transition to an annual cyclic replacement of 3-year-old computers is $5,255,000. Subsequent annual

cost on a 3-year cycle is $3,476,350.

The cost to cyclically replace software, network printers, servers, switches, routers, firewalls, wireless access

points, ISeries, and other technology infrastructure are not included in the costs quoted above.

 Q Cost to provide in classroom supplies that teachers are currently not getting but are asking

parents to provide

A: Approximately, $450,000 for elementary and middle schools (not including backpacks or book bags)

and $225,000 for high schools (not including calculators).

Q: Cost to hire enough teachers to get average non special ed classes down to 25 students or less

A: The cost to reduce the core classrooms of science, English, social studies, and math to 25 students

per classroom is $6,309,600 including benefits. That is the cost to add 95.6 full-time equivalent teacher

positions which would reduce the current pupil/teacher ratio in core classes from 28/1 to a ratio of 25/1.