Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. LaTanya D. McDade shared the proposed PWCS Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. The budget invests $61 million to provide teachers and staff with a 4.2 percent cost of living adjustment and a step increase, resulting in an average pay increase of 7 percent for most employees.
“We began our budget development process this year with a commitment to align our investments with the priorities and outcomes outlined in the PWCS Vision 2025, Launching Thriving Futures Strategic Plan,” said Superintendent McDade. “As a result, I am excited to share that the Fiscal Year 2023 Superintendent’s Budget includes significant investments focused on supporting our classrooms and students.”
The budget includes an additional $20 million to make market-based improvements to certified/instructional and classified employee pay scales. As a result of these adjustments, PWCS salaries will be more competitive. These increases will be targeted primarily at early and mid-career steps on our scale, where PWCS has the least parity with other school divisions competing for talent. As such, some instructional and certified staff will see increases above 7 percent.
In total, the budget invests nearly $10 million in additional special education resources. This includes the proposed addition of 100 full-time special education assistants, who will provide much-needed support for the most vulnerable students. In addition, the budget includes the hiring of 13 assistive technology specialists. These experts are critical to supporting student voice and engagement in the classroom.
The proposal also includes the addition of 88 full-time kindergarten teaching assistants to support the critical development of early learners. In support of families, the budget includes the addition of 35 parent liaisons, with the long-term goal of having at least one for every school in the next four years. This budget also includes five additional social worker positions, and additional language translations support. Additionally, to support students and families with post-secondary planning, and career and technical education opportunities, the budget adds 15 career counselors.
Having safe and healthy schools is fundamental. In support of this, the budget proposes the hiring of 29 security specialists along with infrastructure upgrades of cameras and emergency systems. It also includes the hiring of an additional 14 nurses to further bolster this critical role and reduce high student/nurse ratios.
The total PWCS Fiscal Year 2023 operating revenue will increase by about $173.1 million or 14.1 percent over Fiscal Year 2022. Prince William County revenue to the PWCS Operating Fund will be about $50.6 million more than FY 2022, an increase of 9.2 percent. State revenue will be about $121.6 million more than FY 2022, an increase of 19.9 percent.
The proposal also includes funding for the PWCS Capital Improvements Program (CIP) that focuses on the need for new facilities and additions to address growth. The CIP also funds multiple renovation projects and advances PWCS sustainability goals.
The budget funds the resources needed at the central level to operate more efficiently and effectively in support of schools to advance academic progress. As the largest employer in Prince William County, recruiting, onboarding, and supporting employees requires an adequate number of human resources, finance, and support staff to provide timely and systematic support.
There are multiple opportunities for stakeholders to hear more about the proposed budget and provide feedback. The School Board has scheduled a public meeting on February 7, a public hearing on February 16, and two work sessions. The School Board will consider approval of the budget on March 16. The Board of County Supervisors will consider the budget before May 1.
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