Dear Hayfield Secondary Families:
As Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) continues the budget construction process for the next fiscal year starting on July 1, there are some silver linings that have emanated from this process. Although, no one wants to see valuable programs eliminated, the process has forced budgetary decision makers to take a critical look at how we are spending money and on what. For those familiar with budget deliberation and construction, there are two common budgetary approaches, the recurring budget in which items are added when there is a perceived need, and the zero-based budget in which the entire organization’s budget is justified periodically. The upcoming lean budget year forces us in FCPS to move to more of a zero-based budget, one in which reduction, stream-lining, and elimination of programs will occur. That is not necessarily entirely a bad thing.
So far, principals have spent hours recreating and recommending to central administration the redesign plans for summer school offerings, programs that were revealed to have a $14,000,000 support base in addition to tuition that had been charged. Transportation routes have been repeatedly looked at and some consolidation of inter-school busing will occur. Some non-teaching positions have been eliminated as the original need for them has diminished, but their funding had simply continued as recurring budget items. Even operational savings can be achieved by examining mundane logistical practices. Switching to electronic communication of monthly pay balances to thousands of employees via the school system’s existing employee accessible intranet, rather than mailing paper copies, will save approximately $100,000 in tax dollars annually.
Certainly many of the upcoming programmatic reductions and cuts will be felt at the school level, but to quote a common axiom what doesn’t kill us, will make us stronger. More information about the budget will be forthcoming. I encourage Hayfield families to follow the process by visiting FCPS’s Financial Services web page.
All the best to you and your families,
Dr. Bill Oehrlein