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School Board Approves $523 Million Budget

Parents pack an Arlington County School Board meeting on block scheduling at middle schoolsThe Arlington School Board approved a new $523 million budget for Fiscal Year 2014 on Thursday.

As expected, the School Board’s adopted budget restored funding to teen parenting staffing, elementary reading teachers, high school gifted teachers and other programs that were slated for cuts under superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy’s proposed $520.4 million budget. Proposed cuts to the school system’s minor construction/major maintenance fund were partially restored.

The budget also funds more buses to allow the school system’s transportation department to keep up with rising school enrollment. (A total of 23,725 students are expected to be enrolled at Arlington Public Schools next school year, an increase of 1,108 students — or nearly 5 percent — from 2012-2013.)

The Board amended its proposed budget to allocate $1.5 million from a $7.66 million reserve in order to fund $1,000 bonuses for teachers and staff at the top of the pay or longevity scale. The $1,000 one-time payments will be made to those employees since they are not eligible for receive a salary step increase in FY 2014.

The $523 million adopted budget is 4.3 percent higher than last year’s $501 million budget.

File photo

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