Join Club

Peter’s Take: Arlington Budget Guidance, Part Two

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Peter RousselotThe County Board is scheduled to adopt its budget guidelines on Nov. 19. This column explains in more detail than last week’s why those guidelines should direct an increase in the budget share provided to Arlington Public Schools.

The main reasons are: school enrollment has been rising, while it’s getting more challenging to deliver a 21st century education, and the APS share of the total budget has been slipping.

The combination of these three things happening simultaneously continues to reduce the relative share of educational resources that APS used to have.

School enrollment rising

APS projects that enrollment is expected to continue to grow in FY 2015 by 793 students. This represents an increase of about 30 percent since FY 2007. The financial impact of this enrollment growth for staffing alone could exceed $8 million in FY 2015. Other costs related to this growth (relocatable classrooms, furniture, textbooks, etc.) are likely to add $3 million.

Educational challenges up

APS must honor its commitments to bring instructional time up to the same level and provide the FLES program at all elementary schools. As a percentage, special education enrollment has not changed significantly. But, the severity of the needs of APS’ special education students has been increasing, especially in the autism area. These educational priorities require significant additional resources.

APS share slipping

While there have been occasional one-time, special add-ons in county transfers of funds to APS from FY 2007 through FY 2014, the overall trend of these transfers has been downward in relative terms. Thus, over that period:

  • County revenue provided to APS has grown 32.5 percent, but locally-generated revenue retained by the County has grown 38.6%;
  • Over the same period, the APS budget share has declined from 46.7 to 45.6 percent.

APS also helps to generate Arlington’s tax dollars. A recent report by Dr. Michael Walden concluded that APS’ high and improving academic performance contributes to the Arlington economy:

  • Arlington County residential property values are between $2.7 and $4.7 billion higher than they would have been without academic improvement;
  • These increased property values contribute annually between $27 and $47 million more in property tax revenues than would have been received without academic improvement.

APS’ share of the operating budget should be restored to the level that properly reflects Arlington’s historic commitment to public education.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

Recent Stories

The passenger in a car that was pulled over for a traffic stop apparently shot himself, prompting a large police presence in the Clarendon area.

After years of consideration, and multiple days of public testimony and County Board discussion, one of Arlington’s most contentious local proposals in memory is becoming a reality.

Arlington County’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation says it has a surfeit of programs for teens — but not enough teens to fill them. Between July 2021 and June 2022,…

The Old Bike Shop closed earlier this year in Lyon Park, after a decade in business, but a new bike shop is moving in. Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative, based at 2111…

EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.

The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.

Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.

“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Are you feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope with life’s challenges? You’re not alone. Mental health issues are more common than you might think, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Our counseling service provides a safe, supportive environment where you can explore your feelings, identify negative thought patterns, and learn coping skills to manage your symptoms. Lauren is trained in evidence-based practices and specializes in a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction.

We understand that seeking counseling can be intimidating, but we believe that everyone deserves to live a fulfilling, happy life. Our approach is non-judgmental and compassionate, and we work collaboratively with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals.

We offer a free 15-minute consultation to see if our service is a good fit for you. Reach out at or call (703) 994-0300 to set up a consultation.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference

District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve

Singin’ in the Rain

The “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” is faithfully and lovingly adapted for the stage by Broadway legends, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning screenplay. Each unforgettable scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show-stopping


Subscribe to our mailing list