The Arlington School Board unanimously passed a $669.5 million budget Thursday night.
The budget includes funding for Arlington’s continually expanding school enrollment, with 1,000 more students expected to attend class in the county next year alone. Members also approved a $10.7 million pay increase for Arlington Public Schools staff and funded a study to evaluate salary structure ideas for the future, such as using cost-of-living adjustments instead of discretionary “step” increases.
Arlington Education Association President Ingrid Gant, whose organization represents APS employees, pushed for the increase during a Board hearing on Tuesday, telling members, “it is embarrassing, it is appalling, it is downright disrespectful that members of the School Board want educators to give their all… yet we only give them crumbs come budget time.”
The School Board had previously marked up their own version of a draft APS budget. On April 12, all members, save Barbara Kanninen who abstained, approved a $669.3 million APS budget. Board members hailed the newly-approved final budget and thanked the County Board for a tax hike that will provide additional revenue for the school system.
“It’s clear that this community cares deeply about education and the future of our schools, and we thank the families, students and employees who participated,” Board Chair Reid Goldstein said of the many budget meetings over the last two months.
Goldstein said the County Board, which unanimously passed a budget that includes a two-cent property tax rate hike, helped APS close $6.7 million budget gap that School Board members originally said they couldn’t close without making unpopular cuts. The gap was smaller than the $43 million gap County Manager Mark Schwartz initially feared APS would face come fiscal year 2020.
After higher-than-expected revenue estimates and lower-than-expected healthcare costs, APS Superintendent Patrick Murphy said APS would likely only need to cut about $10.1 million from the budget as long as the county passed a tax hike. At the time, Murphy said that unless the County Board could come up with ways to fork over the remaining gap, APS could be forced to cut an Equity and Excellence coordinator, rowing teams, and the Outdoor Lab.
The cuts were not included in the final budget. It did, however, contain other “substantial efficiencies and reductions” recommended by the superintendent to help close the initial budget gap, APS said.
Equity and Excellence Supervisor Carolyn Jackson spoke Thursday night about the impact her office has had. The majority of the office’s program participants are students who quality for free or reduced lunch, and many are Latino and the first in their family to go to college, according to Jackson’s presentation.
Four students took to the podium Tuesday to thank board members for funding the Equity and Excellence office, and making them “feel like their voices were heard.”
“This budget is an investment in our future,” Goldstein said in a statement, adding that it “allows APS to preserve its excellent programs and services while investing in quality teachers and staff.”
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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
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®.
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WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
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