According to Phil Kavits, Director of Communication Services for Prince William County Public Schools, Superintendent Steven L. Walts resubmitted the Prince William County School budget to the Board of County Supervisors by the April 10 deadline.
The budget includes a total of $5 million in new cuts to as mandated by the School Board to fund the full step increase for all eligible PWCS employees.
“As with previous budget iterations, the cuts will eliminate positions across the School Division, but should be achievable through attrition, job transfers and hiring delays, avoiding any reductions in force,” said Kavits in a recent press release.
“These new cuts are deep and difficult,” said Superintendent Walts. “They may not always be readily apparent to the public, but they will mean additional work and sacrifices for PWCS employees, and a few unavoidable impacts for our schools. Still, the new changes will allow us to continue delivering on our promise of Providing A World-Class Education for our students and competitive compensation for our employees.”
The largest savings in the budget was taking from a reduction of budget reserves totaling $2 million dollars.
The additional savings are coming from the following:
- Reduction of budget reserves ($2,000,000)
- Enhanced energy conservation returns ($ 800,000)
- Reduction of ROP program payments ($ 400,000)
- Cut funding for furniture repair/replacement Divisionwide ($ 250,000)
- Enhanced position management ($ 250,000)
- Improved efficiency in Special Education bus routing ($ 250,000)
- Reevaluate and eliminate vacant Central Office positions ($ 235,000)
- Realized savings for PWCS contributions to existing post-employment benefits ($ 200,000)
- Additional cuts to Central Office Departments ($ 160,000)
- Reimburse schools for substitutes after 4 days instead of 3 ($ 120,000)
- Further reduction of tuition reimbursement ($ 75,000)
- Cut overtime expenditures ($ 50,000)
- Internal grading of 11th grade research papers ($ 40,000)
- Eliminate 5% salary differential for new part-time employees ($ 40,000)
- Realize additional revenue from SACC for indirect costs ($ 30,000)
- Elimination of Years of Service Ceremony (bonus retained) ($ 25,000)
- Further reducing use of external legal counsel ($ 20,000)
- Elimination of professional development EEE Conference ($ 15,000)
- Reduction of operating costs for School-Division vehicles ($ 10,000)
- Revenue from sale of vehicles ($ 10,000)
- Recalculation of salary costs due to budget reductions ($ 10,000)
- Reduction to SOL remediation program ($ 10,000)
“The contributions of our employees have been vital throughout the budget process and will be even more important as we move forward,” added Walts.
Bonnie Klakowicz, President of the Prince William Education Association said, “At first glance, it looks like cuts have been made in many areas, not just
one or two, so I suppose this is fair.”
However, she added some concerns about the cuts to the SOL remediation programs and ROP program, which employs retired educators.
“Many teachers have counted on being able to retire and take advantage of this program,” Klakowicz said.
The budget is not yet finalized, as requires approval from the Board of County Supervisors. The budget is contnigent on the approval of the advertised tax rate 0r 1.215% of $100 of assessed value. A new tax rate of 1.212% was introduced at this afternoon’s BOCS meeting.
“Ongoing changes to the 2012-13 PWCS budget plan may still be required as federal, state and county contributions are finalized, and as needs vary. As always, the budget remains a living document to help guide our work; and, as always, any future changes will continue to focus on putting students first,” stated Kavits.
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