vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Supervisors vs. School Board. Tonight!

Just a quick heads up on a meeting taking place in conference room A/B/C of the Stafford County Administration Center. It is a joint budget work session between the Board of Supervisors and the School Board, and the first time supervisors will really see what the schools have in mind with their Fiscal Year 2011 budget. My initial impression is that despite a renewed attempt at cooperation between the boards (see: Joint Supervisors and School Board Committee), this meeting will likely come down to a familiar issue. Money (of course). It seems supervisors will probably ask the school board to make more spending cuts.

The upcoming fiscal year is not the only concern. Some supervisors would like to see more planning for future fiscal years, when the budget situation could be worse and stimulus funds may no longer exist.

One sidebar issue that could come up: whether supervisors will pay for schools to conduct their own financial audit.

See you there…


  • http://none Gene Smith

    The Board of Supervisors is rightfully questioning the school board’s budget request. In truth, the school board simply parrots what the school administration and local education association tell them to say. With the stimulus money that kept the top heavy bureaucracy afloat for another year coming to end, the school board might actually have to do its job and perform a truly objective and independent review of funding requests and decide most of the money should go directly to the classroom. The administration and education association (teachers’ union) simply refuse to realize that in the real world, the economy isn’t in great shape, people are still losing their jobs, and property values are still declining thanks to the untapped reservoir of delinquent homes waiting to be foreclosed upon. Maybe the residents of Stafford County should ask whether we want these so out of touch people teaching our kids. This economy is still fragile, and Stafford County is no different. Rather than waste a lot of time arguing, fingerpointing, and submitting “budget requests” that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, the school board should work more closely with the supervisors. It makes no sense to insult and offend the very people you’re going to ask for money from.

  • DDF

    “With the stimulus money that kept the top heavy bureaucracy afloat for another year coming to end” HOGWASH !!

    In reality there are 200 teacher positions funded with the stimulus money (state stabilisation funds) that the General Assemby used to supplement their budget shortfall in basic aid to schools across the Commonwealth.

    What happens in FY12 when the schools and county are out a combined $23.4M in stimulus funds? Will economic recovery generate $23.4M in new revenue? Will taxes need to be rasied to pay for police, fire/ems and schools? Will we continue to balance the county budget on the backs of 20% of the residents, 100% of the future, the 26,661 school students.

  • DDF

    FYI – 10 Administrative positions were eliminated from the FY11 budget request along with $350K in part time contracted administrative services for a cost savings/avoidance of over $1M.

  • DDF

    Thear are no teachers unions in VA. The SEA and VEA have no collective bargaining powers. Each teacher has an individually signed contract set to the same pay scale determined by the SB. There are no SB/SEA negotiations. When is the last time teachers saw a COLA or a Step? If they were a union they would be a lousy one from the perspective of pay! VA teachers salary ranks 44th in the US some 18% below comparable jobs.

    Stafford has the 4th highest K-7 student teacher ratio and ther resuls show, 80% SOL scores are at or below our neighbors or the state average. Only 16 schools made AYP. I know of a teacher who got her masters degree and a few years of experince in Stafford and was interviewing for a $90K teaching job in PA. Nearly 1/2 of the new teachers have NO classroom experience.

    Want a rookie surgeon, firemens/EMS, tax accountant, burger flipper?

  • DDF

    $3 per Hour

    The Stafford County Local Operating Transfer to schools for this year is $102,736,533 for 26,661 students or $3854.54 per student divided by 180 school days is $21.41 per day divided by the current HS schedule of 7 hrs (7:30-2:30)is $3.06 per hour. Now we all know (but some may not!) that it takes more than just teachers to operate a school system. That $3.06/hr covers salaries, benefits, bus drivers, maintenance, custodian, admin, supplies, books, busses, computers, insurance, etc. If you include the debt service for school construction that still only comes to $3.93 per hour of local funds to educate our kids. Stafford’s total expenditure including state, local, and federal funds ranks 104 out of 132 VA school districts. 26,661 – 20% of the population, 100% of the future -$3/hr

    What does it cost per day to keep an inmate in a VA jail? Going to complain about that?

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Were DDF’s math skills and equations put into play in an open market, and all you got back for the effort was $3 an hour would put American Education at the top of the list for one the cheapest educational work forces on the planet.

    I have no problem with DDF’s negotiation skills and his reality of what is and is not. Bean counters and actuarial chaos theories have been in existence for thousand of years. So why should anything be any different now as it was then?

    It’s called a budget. Want to play with it? It’s time to alert the buyer (public) to beware, especially with the number crunching and the fiscal fallout that comes with it. After all, it’s just another game, with rules of sound fiscal management, that are not used, for want of “market share” being sustained on either side of this debate, and being described as good government. WE still have a long way to go before any kind of balance is found on both sides of this equation.

  • DDF

    The FY11 SCPS budget request (operating transfer plus debt service) is EXACTLY the same as last year and already includes $1M in savings on Admin positions and a reduction in teacher positions (added last year with stimulus funds) by 31. In FY 11 the stimulus funds expire. The SCPS will be short $14.3M in FY12. County government will be short $9.1M. Those are facts.

  • DDF

    Does the Stafford BOS value your kids education?

    Stafford now ranks 117 out of 132 divisions down from 104/132 just last year.

    The local funding investment of $4405 is 26.4% below the state average of $5504

    The total per pupil investment of $9531 (state, local, federal) is 15.8% below state average of $11,316