School Board Adopts FY 2025 Budget

School Board Adopts FY 2025 Budget

Can’t win ‘em all.

When it comes down to it, the newly tenured Fairfax County School Board, seated on Jan. 1, 2024, had, as R. Kyle McDaniel, a member at large, said, "a very interesting, long, deliberate budget cycle" this year. 

At its meeting on May 23, the Fairfax County School Board voted to adopt Fairfax County Public Schools' Fiscal Year 2025 Approved Budget, totaling $3.7 billion. This represents a net increase of 6.6 percent, or $232.2 million, above the FY 2024 adopted budget. Nearly 86 percent of the approved budget is targeted for instruction. 

When presenting the budget approval motion. Dr. Ricardy Anderson, representing the Mason District, said budget approval usually provokes "strong reactions and emotions," with everyone strongly believing and articulating that school budget "reflects our values."

"We must acknowledge the disappointment with this budget for this board ... Our full request has not been granted," Anderson said. She emphasized that further delays caused by the lack of a governor-approved budget created additional chaos for the board.

Anderson noted that the board passed a "robust budget resolution" earlier this year; its purpose was to communicate the board's priorities with Superintendent Michelle Reid. Priorities included the "development  of a "student student-focused, equitable, needs-based proposed budget for this year aligned to the Division's Strategic Plan and inclusive of the board's priorities to focus on FCPS workforce, recruitment, and retention to include competitive compensation with consideration for differentiated pay for hard-to-fill positions, such as teachers in Title One schools and special education teachers."

Kyle McDaniel, member at large, seconded the budget approval motion. He said creating a school budget required a delicate balance between competing needs since there are not unlimited resources. In Virginia, school boards do not have the authority to raise their own funding, "adding an additional layer of complexity," he said.

McDaniel paraphrased and read an excerpt of a letter from the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers union, which voiced support for the budget: "They believe this approach is essential for maintaining unity and morale among our dedicated staff. By remaining steadfast and united, we can continue to provide the best possible education for our students and maintain a positive, collaborative work environment for all staff members."

McDaniel said he trusted the teachers' associations and "the folks who made this budget."

"I trust our superintendent. I fully recognize I am one of 12. I don't always get what I want. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Is this budget everything I want? No. But it's also not everything everybody else wants. That's life, and I'm happy to support it."

The adopted budget includes a 4 percent compensation increase for all employees and maintains the mid-year 2 percent compensation increase for all employees, which the School Board approved in January. It also contains funds to keep class sizes consistent with projected enrollment increases, continue key multiyear initiatives and provide resources to support student well-being outside the classroom. 

According to FCPS News, the following budget items will be priorities in the FY 2024 Year End Budget: Thirty additional minutes for extended day contracts for special education teachers; funding for the ERFC (Enter Retirement Feeling Confident) Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP); and one-time funding for an expansion of athletics, including boys' volleyball and girls' wrestling.

Watch the FCPS School Board Meeting with Budget Approval at