FCPS board approves FY 2022 budget

Three weeks ago The Fairfax County School Board approved the FY 2022 budget, prioritizing COVID-19 recovery and giving all FCPS employees a two percent raise.

The board hopes to improve student school life and the overall well being of students by increasing access to technology, language support and mental health resources. “Out of the bad news of this pandemic, we’ve been able to pass a good-news budget here in Fairfax County Public Schools that is going to support students in many ways,” FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said.

In the budget, the majority of it being 86 percent of 3.4 billion will go to fifty new ESOL positions. There will be more technology specialist positions and more positions for social workers and psychologists to help students with their mental health.

“I think it’s for sure a step in the right direction, but there is still room to improve and grow,” geometry teacher Jen Kirk said. “Since these last 15 months have one giant hurdle after another for teachers, students, and families, I think it’s great that the county has budgeted for an increase in ESOL, social worker, and psychologist positions!”

Lastly, technology support fees will be FCPS responsibility. Meaning that the $50 technology support fees will not be required and will be a part of the program and budget. FCPS has now realized that technology is an integral part of the instructional program.

In the fall, FCPS will have over 180,000 students returning to school and the mental health support provided in the budget package will be key for an easy transition to life post-pandemic. The additional fifty ESOL positions are important since 27 percent of FCPS students are English learners and language skills need to be developed at a young age.

In the budget, all FCPS employees will also receive a 2 percent raise. “I know the pandemic put a strain on budgets and resources this past year, so I am happy that teachers are getting any kind of raise,” English teacher Bonnie Vining said.

The budget will go into effect on July 1, and the county anticipates for students to return to school 5-days a week and receive in-person instruction this fall.