Should FCPS Get So Much Money?

Should FCPS Get So Much Money?

Everyone is reeling from the increase in property tax

assessments. What many don’t realize is that 52% of the Fairfax County

budget goes to schools. I am a product of Maryland public schools and

my kids attended FCPS all grades. I have always been a staunch

supporter of public schools but that doesn’t mean taxpayers shouldn’t be

asking how the money is being spent. Consider,

* FCPS has a $3.4 billion budget. Twenty years ago, the FCPS budget was

$1.55 billion. The budget has increased on average $1 million per year

or 6% year over year.

* The FCPS budget has increased 3x the rate of enrollment since 2000

despite recent declines in enrollment.

* FCPS asked for a 7% increase this year taking the budget to $3.5

billion despite an enrollment drop of 11,000 students, the largest drop

of any county in Virginia.

* Despite increases in spending, the pass rate of FCPS SOL scores have

dropped 16% since 2018.

* SOL pass rates for minority students have decreased over 20%

between 2008 and 2018 exacerbating the achievement gap.

* Between 2018 and 2022, the average FCPS SAT score dropped 27 points, while Virginia SAT scores increased 14 points. Compared to our

neighbors, Prince William scores fell only 7 points, Loudoun dropped by

6 points, and Montgomery County, Md. scores increased 58 points. FCPS

average SAT scores are at their lowest level since 1989-1993.

The taxpayers in Fairfax County should question the impact of FCPS

spending on student outcomes. Clearly increased spending in our schools

has not resulted in better outcomes and higher student achievement. 

This increased spending in our school system cannot go unchecked at the

expense of its citizens being taxed out of the area and unaffordable for

future generations. 

Kim Putens

Alexandria 22308